Real Madrid won their match against Galatasaray by 4-1. You would think Real Madrid basically rolled over Galatasaray but that’s not true. We pummeled them to death with 10 men. Amazingly Real Madrid played with 10 men for 70 minutes of the game as Ramos was sent off for holding back a Galatasaray attacker when he was through to goal in the 26th minute.
From that point onwards, Real Madrid never really looked like they were playing with 10 men.
Three Things that became clear with tonight’s win were:
Real Madrid do not need Ronaldo to win big. Ronaldo is a fantastic player no doubt but sometimes (same is the case with Messi) he overshadows other players in terms of style of play and that sometimes hurts other players efficiency. Bale, Di Maria and Arbeloa looked completely different players in tonight’s match because of their new found freedom of play in the absence of Ronaldo.
Bale is fundamentally a left footed Ronaldo. His free kick was monstrous and he is not even back to his full fitness. His speed was unmatched and his strength on the ball was quite amazing as well. He just needs time to adapt to Real Madrid and I think Real Madrid would become even more devastating.
Arbeloa can attack with the ball. All his life he has been criticized about being a limited player who could not really attack with the ball but he showed that side of his game really well tonight. I always thought that as good as Arbeloa was in defense, he was crap going forward and the truth is that he was crap when going forward with the ball. Tonight with Real Madrid playing virtually the whole match with 10 men, may be he thought he might give it a go and try his luck in the opposite penalty box. If he had a slightly better composure, he could have scored 3 goals. He scored once. Came close the second time with a half volley and was denied a clear penalty in the second half.
Anyway, about that Bale wonder goal. The important thing about that wonder goal is that unlike Messi’s wonder goals, Bale scored (at least on this occasion) that wonder goal when the team was down and really needed it. Messi’s greatest goal was against the lowly Getafe, in the second leg of semi final of Copa Del Rey where Barcelona were leading on the overall scoreline by 4-1(or something close) and with players such as Xavi, Iniesta, Eto’o, Puyol, Alves, Ronaldinho, Deco, Abidal.
On the other hand, Bale scored with his team needing a point to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League. With no extraordinary talent on the field apart from Casillas and Di Maria. He scored when the score was 0-0 and Real Madrid were a man down.
That’s what you call a big game player giving a big game performance all on his own. Messi is great no doubt but would he play with such less pressure if he did not have xavi, iniesta, sanchez around him to support his play with all their might? I don’t know.
What do you guys think? Does Real Madrid depend on Ronaldo as much as Barcelona depend on Messi?