The Santiago Bernabéu was again illuminated as the fans were treated to yet another spectacle. Fans and pundits alike will be chanting the name of none other than Mr. October himself, Cristiano Ronaldo as he managed an astonishing 4 goals in the match and is now sole top scorer in the league with 9 goals.
Racing have never been an easy team for Real Madrid and although they have lost all of their last five league meetings between the two they have always managed to keep the scoreline respectable. The scoreline of the last five outings are as follows: 2-0, 0-2, 1-0, 1-0 and 0-2; all in favor of Real. However, tonight was a different story and Racing found themselves on the end of a heavy 6-1 defeat inside the Bernabéu. Coincidentally, Real’s second consecutive 6-1 success this season at home.
The spectacle was led by Ronaldo, who has been on some glorious form both for club and country. Prior to tonight’s match Ronaldo managed 7 goals in 5 appearances for both club and country and after tonight’s debacle have now notched up 11 goals in 6 appearances. He has scored 2 for country and 9 for club (8 in league and 1 in the Champion’s league).
In today’s match Racing coach Miguel Ángel Portugal decided to line up with a very defensive system using 5 defenders in the back, a new system to the Racinguistas. However, how can one fault him for doing so with the kind of form Real Madrid is in? Prior to the match the Racing boss stated that his team would have to stop a wave of attack from the whites and perhaps that was what prompted him to use a 5-4-1 system in tonight’s match. Despite the defensive system, Racing were unable to keep Real Madrid out and after just 10 minutes in the visitors found themselves down a goal courtesy of Gonzalo “Super Pipita” Higuaín, who latched on to a lovely ball over the top from di María, took a touch to control it, one to settle and then side footed it between the legs of the on rushing Toño.
At that point Racing were struggling with the new system and looked quite incoherent and within 5 minutes of finding themselves down a goal were now down by 2 goals courtesy of Mr. October. Higuaín had drifted out wide and sent in a great one time low cross that the on rushing Ronaldo met to hit one time and finish for his team’s second and his first of the night.
Real Madrid kept knocking on the door and some 12 minutes later knocked it down again to bury their third of the night and Ronaldo’s second. The goal was provided by the scintillating German Özil, who came dashing down the right to pick out Ronaldo in the box who just slots it home coolly. The goal however was quite debatable as many say Ronaldo was offside when Özil came dashing down the right and became active again once the young German pulled level with him. FIFA needs to put the law down clearly for that rule!
The hosts went into the break with a comfortable 3-0 lead, Casillas unprovoked for much of the first half; which left Portugal and his men wondering how they could implement some amount of damage control as they were certainly looking to pick up a cricket score if they continued at the rate they were playing in the first half.
Whatever Portugal said in the visitor’s dressing room obviously didn’t transcend beyond the dressing room as his team came out playing not much different than they did in the first half and after just two minutes into the second conceded their 4th of the night. Di María came flying down the right wing beat two defenders and took the ball to the byline to cut it back for Ronaldo to control and fire past the keeper and two on rushing defenders for his hat-trick (only his 2nd since joining Real Madrid and his first in the Bernabéu).
Only 10 minutes into the second half and Racing would find themselves on the verge of conceding a 5th goal as a desperate Cisma tried to nick the ball away from di María as he was most certainly through on goal and inevitably the left-back fouled the Argentine inside the box and Muñíz Fernández immediately pointed to the spot. No need guessing who popped up to slot the penalty home for the team’s 5th and his 4th on the night (a feat the Portuguese have never achieved at the professional level).
At this point one can’t help but think that the dejected Racing players were hoping that the end would come quickly and if they weren’t then in the 63rd minute they would most certainly, as the inventive German, Özil was picked out from deep by Xabi Alonso and he jinked past the last defender and scored a wonderful goal from just inside the box for the 6th of the night. Subsequently, after scoring his goal, the German was taken off to a round of applause to welcome on Racing’s former golden boy, Canales.
The fans wanted more goals but the home team weren’t able to provide us with anymore and Diop took the opportunity to seize on the home team’s drop in intensity in the 73rd minute to pull a goal back for his team something they have not been able to do in the last 5 games against Real Madrid, with an effort from just outside the box to beat Casillas for only the 4th time this season.
The man of the match should be quite easy to determine since we saw Ronaldo being an absolute beast. Regardless, one has to also look at the likes of di María, Özil and Higuaín’s performance. Especially di María, he had a hand in four of the goals scored including drawing that penalty from Cisma, as well the Argentine helped out in defence a lot and eventually played as a left-back when Marcelo was substituted. After all the running he did today the Argentine winger had to eventually leave the field of play with some bout of cramps.
Real Madrid are growing in confidence and are enjoying their football. Results have been getting better and so has the team as a unit. Ronaldo is now on some glorious form and have now scored 44 goals in 46 appearances for Real Madrid, incidentally a better record than the great Argentine Alfredo Di Stéfano within his first couple seasons at the Capital club.
In two weeks, the Madrid derby takes place at the Bernabéu and shortly after that (three weeks to be exact), El Clásico takes place at the Camp Nou. If Real Madrid’s form continues and this wonderful growth in the team continues then I can’t see them not picking up all 6 points from these fixtures.
I think if we take these points there is no denying the greatness of that man José “Special One” Mourinho, not that one can ever overlook his previous achievements, but in terms of being able to thrill while being strong defensively? Surely this team have been proving it and they still have room for growth. Mourinho constantly told the team to continue playing the way he wants them to and the goals would come and the goals are coming fast and plenty, the team have now scored 16 goals in their last three league games- an average of 5.33 goals per match.
For all my TRUE Real Madrid fans I leave you with this…….¡Hala Madrid!