Match Recap: Real Madrid 4-1 Leganes

SANTIAGO BERNABEU, MADRID, SPAIN - 2018/09/01: Real Madrid team celebrates after scoring during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and CD Leganes at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Manu Reino/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SANTIAGO BERNABEU, MADRID, SPAIN - 2018/09/01: Real Madrid team celebrates after scoring during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and CD Leganes at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Manu Reino/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid played host neighbours Leganes in Matchday 3 of La Liga. Here’s a look at the match and how it all went down.

Before the referee blew the whistle to start the match, three Real Madrid players got the chance to show off some of their silverware. Real Madrid dominated the UEFA Awards which took place earlier this week in Monaco. Sergio Ramos, Keylor Navas and Luka Modric all won awards for being the best in the respective positions. Modric doubled up on the accolades securing the UEFA Player of the Year award.

After coming on as substitutes in the first two games, Luka Modric and Raphael Varane made their first starts of the season. Lopotegui opted to give the two time to ease into the rhythm of things due to their deep runs into the World Cup.

Unlike the first two games, Keylor Navas took a seat on the bench giving Thibaut Courtois his official professional debut for Real Madrid. In addition, Isco took a seat to start but would come in, later on, to help shake up the defence of Leganes. Here’s a look at all the action from the match!

First Half

Real Madrid came out strong yet again, controlling tempo and pace from the initial whistle. Luka Modric was still shaking off some rust picking up a silly yellow card in the third minute. Early in the first half, it seemed as though that Madrid were going to easily walk through this match, but as time went on things got a little tricky.

As of late, it has seemed that everything Gareth Bale touches turns to gold. The Welshman opened up the scoring on the night with a sweet volley. Bale’s great finish had too much heat for the keeper to handle putting Real up 1-0. The goal came 17-minutes into the match and it seemed like it was all going in Madrid’s favour.

Like in the previous match against Girona, the cucumber growers made things interesting just 7-minutes later. Casemiro’s lazy challenge in the box handed Leganes the opportunity to bring the game level. They would convert with Courtois unable to stop the spot kick levelling out the scoreline yet again.

The approach of play from Leganes changed quite a bit after both teams were on a level pegging. Rather than playing 11 men behind the ball, they brought the game to Real, striving for the go-ahead goal. Madrid though were smart in their approach. They observed defensive discipline and exploited Leganes’ open spaces.

At one point in the first half possession stood in favour of Madrid with an 86% – 14% split. The heads of the players didn’t drop despite the setback showing the confidence they have in the system.

Second Half

It’s been said before and it will be said again, this Real Madrid faces danger differently than it has in recent years. Madrid came out of the tunnel with a 1-1 scoreline, facing a Leganes that had more confidence than Real would have wanted. But, that did not stop Los Blancos. They finished the match with more than three-quarters of the possession.

Madrid looked threatening all throughout the rest of the game. Everything about the match looked so fluid. From defence to attack the composure was ever present. Real did well to bring the ball out of the back and build up play.

Just three minutes into the second stanza Karim Benzema scored his first goal of the game. Marco Asensio whisked in a wonderful cross from the left wing for the Frenchman. Big Benz held off the defender despite all his efforts to stop the striker from heading home the brace. The goal would be reviewed by VAR due to the defender ending up on the ground. After review, the referee agreed that Benzema made no infraction on the Leganes player and the goal would stand.

Next. Three takeaways from Real Madrid 4-1 win vs. Leganes. dark

With Madrid in the driver’s seat, they continued their high press and abundance of possession. Even when things were looking dicey as Leganes tried to attack Madrid quickly extinguished the fire. In the 61-minute Benzema would add to his goal tally after a wonderful link up near the box. A graceful gunslinger shot rolled into the far post from 20 yards like a bride walking down the aisle.

Los Blancos would add one more goal before calling it a night. Marco Asensio has now been the reason for all of Real’s penalty takes this season. His quick run into the box put too much pressure on the defence drawing the foul. Number one taker Sergio Ramos stepped up to the spot and buried the spot kick.

As the game started to wind down Lopotegui opted to pull out Marco Asensio and Gareth Bale for Dani Ceballos and Lucas Vazquez respectively. All in all, this was a great win for Real Madrid showing up against a team that they dropped points to last season.

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