Five takeaways from Real Madrid’s 3-0 win against Deportivo Alaves

Real Madrid (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Real Madrid (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid finally returned to winning ways with a 3-0 win against Deportivo Alaves at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. The team had struggled in attack in the four fixtures before this game, with just 1 goal in 4 games. And a terrible performance against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday didn’t make any fan happy.

It seemed as if this game was going on a similar path, with Real Madrid putting in a below-par performance in the first half of the game. Thanks to a moment of attacking brilliance from Marco Asensio, followed by goals from his attacking partners Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema, Los Blancos were able to wrap up the three points in a game where they were expected to do so with relative ease.

The scoreline might be a bit misleading because Real Madrid was disappointing for most of the game until Asensio’s goal, which changed the dynamic completely. There are a lot of talking points in this game, and let us have a look at some of the takeaways from this game. Most of them are going to be critical in nature because the overall performance wasn’t satisfying.

Let us start off with the decisive player of the game, Marco Asensio.

Real Madrid, Marco Asensio
Real Madrid, Marco Asensio (Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

1. Marco Asensio doesn’t perform unless his complacency is questioned

After watching Marco Asensio play for Real Madrid all these years, we have got used to his inconsistency. He would become a starter after a good performance, and would then have two to three below-average performances due to which he would be dropped from the starting XI. He would then put in an encouraging performance as a sub, and the cycle goes on and on.

His performances and goals have followed the same pattern this season, and he has managed to perform well when his complacency was punished by the manager Carlo Ancelotti, who would then decide to start Rodrygo or someone else ahead of Asensio.

Two bad performances against Villarreal and PSG followed the game against Granada, in which he scored a screamer. Well, he wasn’t benched because his competitors haven’t been any brilliant either. But this time, it wasn’t Ancelotti who was fed up with Asensio’s complacency. It was the fans inside the Bernabeu, who were annoyed with the mediocrity shown on the pitch. They couldn’t be patient after watching Asensio gift a huge goalscoring opportunity to Alaves in the 61st minute with a lazily misplaced backpass and some fans vented out their frustrations at the No. 11 with whistles.

Asensio didn’t like the fans’ reaction a bit and didn’t take a lot of time to respond to them, as he gave the best answer possible with a screamer of a goal just two minutes after the incident. He would then go on to angrily celebrate his goal with some gestures towards the fans, asking if they would whistle him now.

Well, this shows only one thing. Asensio can’t push himself to go the extra mile unless someone or something else forces him to do so. The fact that he answered the whistles is a good thing, but he also needs to realise that someone can’t keep whistling him throughout the game to bring the best out of him. The motivation and the determination need to come from inside, and not just some external factors. That is what we call an ‘Elite mentality’, something that any player needs to have, to succeed at Real Madrid.

And on a side note, Asensio’s performances are making his situation much more complicated. His performances have been very poor for a Real Madrid starter who’s 26-years-old. He lacks the intent and verticality, but he still manages to save the day with a decisive moment of brilliance. This doesn’t make him completely reliable, nor completely reliable, and doesn’t give an answer to the question, “Should Real Madrid renew Asensio’s contract?”.