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Real Madrid 2-0 Eibar: 5 talking points as Karim Benzema nets milestone goal | La Liga 2020-21

Sunaadh Sagar
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 03 Apr 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

#3 Marcelo's Real Madrid curse comes to an end

Marcelo shined on a rare pitchside appearance for Real Madrid.
Marcelo shined on a rare pitchside appearance for Real Madrid.

When Real Madrid announced their lineup an hour before kickoff, Marcelo's name raised plenty of eyebrows.

Real Madrid's record of one win, one draw and three defeats in games Marcelo has started this season started floating around, with Madrid fans fearing the worst.

However, Marcelo was one of the best players on the pitch, as he thrived in Los Blancos' three-man formation. Freed from his defensive responsibilities, Marcelo combined superbly with Isco to wreak havoc down Real Madrid's left channel.

The Brazilian whipped in plenty of delicious crosses and ought to have had two assists, but Benzema and Isco spurned the chances. Zidane may opt for Ferland Mendy against Liverpool, but Marcelo is definitely an option to consider, especially with the El Clasico on the horizon.

If there ever was a time to work his way back into form after an awful season, Marcelo could not have picked a better time as Real Madrid enter a season-defining week.


#4 Zinedine Zidane's 3-5-2 formation works wonders again

Zinedine Zidane now has his eyes on Liverpool.
Zinedine Zidane now has his eyes on Liverpool.

Zinedine Zidane's experiments with a three-man defence started off quite badly but came to fruition when it counted. Atalanta had no answer as Real Madrid thwarted them in a 3-1 win in the UEFA Champions League.

The three-man defence seemed to be a case of horses for courses, as Zidane swiftly reverted to his regular 4-3-3 against Celta Vigo. However, Sergio Ramos' injury meant that Zidane probably needed more protection for his defenders, and out came the three-man defence once again.

Ferland Mendy's positional discipline was a delight to see as he freed up Marcelo down the left-wing. Eder Militao and Nacho rarely put a foot wrong, with Casemiro mopping up any residual danger as well.

Liverpool do not play with a back three, so perhaps Zidane will revert to a back four. However, the success of a 3-5-2/ 3-4-3 formation ought to provide food for thought to both Zidane and Jurgen Klopp.


#5 Karim Benzema continues his historic season for Real Madrid

Karim Benzema had a goal ruled out for offside.
Karim Benzema had a goal ruled out for offside.

Another game, another Karim Benzema goal. This one was a bit more meaningful, though, as Benzema surpassed the legendary Carlos Santillana in Real Madrid's all-time goal-scoring charts.

For a player who has shouldered his share of criticism for 'not scoring enough' during Cristiano Ronaldo's time at the club, it's a brilliant return. The Frenchman will definitely not surpass his former teammate but can now definitely be counted as a Real Madrid legend.

The numbers do not lie. Karim Benzema's nine goals in seven consecutive games for Real Madrid is his best return since he signed for them from Lyon as a youngster. All that remains now is to continue that form against Liverpool and Barcelona, and he will cement his status as a legend.

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Published 03 Apr 2021
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