Real Madrid finds the punch, but misses Sergio Ramos and Varane

The joy of seeing the Real Madrid as the highest scorer in Spain and one of the most effective in Europe he does not hide defensive problems of a team that does not have Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane. To do without two starting centers at the same time is to take risks and, throughout the season, there will be different moments in which they are missed. In the fourth day of the League, against Celta in the return to the Bernabéu, he is one of them. Just as it took a while to get used to playing without Cristiano Ronaldo, so does Ramos and Varane. This time, the doubts are in the other area.

This has just begun and, for now, the troubles are offset by being fine up and looking at the goal. But it is Ancelotti himself who does not hide the fragility and imbalance. The Italian recognizes that they give gifts and that defensive sacrifice is lacking. If we are left with that Sergio Ramos has not yet made his debut with Paris Saint Germain, the problem seems minor.

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Carlo Ancelotti lives the matches with anguish. The second half against Levante and the first against Celta made the Italian nervous. The structure is inconsistent in a team that prioritizes going on the attack with a more vertical football and fewer precautions than Zidane’s style. This has its benefits. Real Madrid recovers the punch and is showy. Will you find this formula to win titles? Zidane said no and that it was better to have balance and more control of the game than to turn them into a round trip as we are seeing in Ancelotti’s first games.

Plugged in attack

Real Madrid has scored 13 goals in 4 games and the average of 3.2 goals per game places it among the most successful teams in Europe together with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Better, even, than Paris Saint Germain (16 goals in 5 games). Has to Benzema as the Pichichi of the League, with 5 goals, and the improvement of a Vinicius who has caught the streak. The Brazilian goes on goal with four goals in the first four days of the league championship.

The shooting data is excellent and the offensive sensations glimpse a Real Madrid that is fun for the eyes. He does not speculate and goes on the attack. This is what Ancelotti promised when he took over the team and in gratitude to Florentino Pérez for thinking about him again. In his first stage he was fired after winning La Décima and achieving brilliant moments of play due to the vertigo and the scoring effectiveness of a team in which the best Cristiano, Bale and Benzema were present. The defensive risks could be assumed with a devastating attack and guarantees for its scoring regularity. Now he is looking to do something similar and does not want to give up this philosophy of direct play. But Carlo is not calm with the defense and to think that Vinicius will maintain this scoring regularity is not enough, nor is it worth believing that Bale is there to play three games in a row when he has returned injured from appointments with his National Team.

Nacho in a defensive action during the match between Levante and Real Madrid. (Eph)

Having a more solid team is something that is beginning to worry the Italian. While in the Bernabéu box (560 days later) they enjoyed the five goals against Celta, on the bench they were shocked by the individual errors of Miguel Gutiérrez, Nacho, Militao and Carvajal. Ancelotti does not hide that the team lacks balance and it has too many problems to solve with the exit of the ball, the positioning, the retreat and the concentration. He has also spoken of more commitment and sacrifice.

Defensive cracks

He started the season by praising the defensive attitude of Nacho, whom he described as “pessimistic” for having played a full game on the first day against Alavés. “There are two types of defenses in the world: the optimistic and the pessimistic. Nacho is pessimistic because he thinks that someone can fail and that is why he is focused, “said Carlo. Nacho, which is said to always comply because it does not complicate and hardly makes mistakes, He has gone from being a blessed distrustful to being overconfident. The change is that now he has to do more things in defense (order, cut, anticipate, lead …). It was not good against Celta, like the rest of those who play back, and the defensive system had cracks.

Ancelotti’s Real Madrid starts the season like a cannon in attack, but is tender in defensive tasks. He does not have, yet, a fixed defense and has already used Lucas Vázquez and Carvajal on the right side; Militao, Nacho and David Alaba as center-backs and the versatile Austrian, plus the youth squad Miguel Gutierrez and a few minutes from the veteran Marcelo on the left side. Marcelo is injured again. It is just as important to have a successful scorer as to be resistant behind. This is the great concern of Ancelotti, who prefers Alaba as a center-back and is waiting to see when he is to play Ferland mendy. The Frenchman, who has not finished recovering from a tibial periostitis, has not played a game since May 5.

The doubts are transferred to the rear of the team for various reasons. The first is the absences of Ramos and Varane. The defense has been weakened, although the most optimistic analyzes refer to the good games that Militao and Nacho had in the second leg of last season and against top teams (Atalanta, Liverpool, Barcelona…). The club decided not to make an effort with Ramos and Varane because the priority was to raise money and lower the salary mass to tackle the signing of Mbappé.

Photo: Gianni Infantino, FIFA President, with Aleksander Ceferin, UEFA President.  (EFE)
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With Alaba and the return of the loaned Vallejo, it was believed that it was enough. Without Sergio Ramos and Varane the defense loses office, leadership, passing game and more things like intimidation power. The two held the team in compromising and unbalanced situations. Real Madrid suffered a punishment with Celta’s transitions throughout the first half. All the good that was done from midfield forward was spoiled in the other half of the field with losses, inaccuracies, attention and placement failures.

Real Madrid are in luck because they have an average of 3.2 goals per game, but they have to improve their defensive system to lower the number of goals conceded (1.5). Only against Betis has he left a clean sheet and the team enters its first week of maximum difficulty with the games against him Inter de Milan in the Champions and the Valencia in the league. The two as a visitor.

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