Laliga 2019/20: Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo, but the problems are visible
Real Madrid started their campaign with a 3-1 win over Celta Vigo. Los Blancos traveled to Balaidos and were undoubtedly favorites to win the game. With their new Galactico Eden Hazard out for the first month, the expectations were high on Gareth Bale, rumored to have been up for a move away from Real.
And even though Karim Benzema gave Madrid an early lead after Bale's brilliant run along the left flank, what followed was half an hour of relentless pressure from Celta. New signing Denis Suarez was creating problems for Zinedine Zidane. Celta scored before halftime, but VAR disallowed the goal.
Los Blancos tried to regain control in the second half but were not successful. Suarez continued to feed in dangerous crosses that were halted by Sergio Ramos and Rafael Varane. And even then, Thibaut Courtois was forced into making some spectacular saves. To add insult to injury, Luka Modric received a straight red after a VAR review early in the second half.
Celta, though, could not capitalize on the extra man. Soon after Toni Kroos pulled a rabbit out, scoring a belter to keep Celta at bay. Lucas Vazquez came on from the bench to make it 3-0 and, the home team could only pull one back in the closing moments of the game.
Real Madrid's defense under pressure
The defensive line lead by Ramos was under severe pressure from the home team. Suarez managed to find spaces with ease and feed well-timed through balls to Iago Aaspas, and the Blancos were lucky that the Spanish striker couldn't take his chances. And young Alvaro Odriozola put on an unconvincing performance, troubling since Marcelo tends to leave the defense exposed when he attacks. A similar performances against stronger opposition could result in Real Madrid conceding goals.
Vinicius Jr should be more clinical
Zidane started Benzema, Bale and 19-year-old Vinicius Jr in attack. The young Brazillian was impressive in his first season, dribbling past defenders with ease. But his end product was poor. Against Celta, he linked well with Benzema and Bale but showed his inexperience in front of goal. If he is to become a regular starter under Zidane, he should improve his finishing. With Eden Hazard out for a month, Vinicius has an opportunity to show the manager that he can be trusted.
Zidane's next match is against Real Vallodolid at the Santiago Bernebeu, and he'll look to be better at home. With the board making investments to refurbish the squad, expectations will be high to drive his team away from their poor 2018/19 season and win trophies.