Despite plenty of opening positives, Real Madrid were unable to secure the win against PSG in the Champions League. Los Blancos faltered late to concede two goals that let the visitors back into the proceedings. Here are our three takeaways.
Fede Valverde is the truth:
Whilst much of the focus was on the return of Isco to the starting line-up, it should be Fede Valverde who steals the headlines. The midfielder was quite easily the best player in the middle of the park, and, in general, one of Real’s best players on the night. The Uruguayan was absolutely everywhere, as he put in a complete performance.
The 21-year-old was tornado-like in his approach. If he wasn’t cutting off passing lanes and winning the ball back, he surged forward and helped contribute in the attack. He had a hand in the first goal, prancing forward like a gazelle in the desert, and, more often than not, charged back like a raging bull when the team was under siege.
The stats back up just how good the player was. In the 76 minutes he played, he completed 89% of his passes, made two key passes and completed 3 dribbles. Defensively, he made 3 tackles and completed 3 interceptions.
Once Valverde was substituted, it was no coincidence that the midfield looked like it had lost its life.
If we learned anything from this game, we were taught the same lesson we’ve been taught in recent games: Fede MUST start over Luka Modric. He has shown he can do all that is required of a box-to-box midfielder. Not only that, but he should be given 90 minutes as regularly as possible, Real’s midfield just does not look the same without him, and if that isn’t testament to his growing influence, what is?