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, Ferland Mendy (Photo by Alvaro Medranda/Eurasia Sports Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by Alvaro Medranda/Eurasia Sports Images/Getty Images) /

4. Real Madrid’s crossing is becoming worse with each game

A lot of people on social media undermine Real Madrid’s three-peat of Champions League and Zidane’s brilliance by saying that the Frenchman just relied on crossing. First of all, it’s an ignorant claim, and secondly, it makes a lot of sense for a manager to use crossing as a tactic in a team that has world-class fullbacks, and athletic forwards. Crossing was a huge weapon for Real Madrid, though the team had used the tactic excessively at times.

But now, the team’s not attempting many crosses anymore, and even the crossing quality isn’t the same. Yesterday’s win against Alaves is a prime example to support the claim, as Real Madrid had attempted 21 crosses in the game, but only 4 of them were accurate, with a success rate of around 19% as per Sofasore. 

The overall numbers might discourage the fans even more, as Real Madrid registered only 3.4 per 90 mins at a success rate of just 19.54%, and are stand 19th (yes, you read it right) in the table for most accurate crosses per 90 in LaLiga, as per WhoScored. This is a dip when compared to the 4.5 accurate crosses in LaLiga per 90 in the 2020/21 season, with a success rate of 22.7%. Even the no. of aerial duels won per 90 mins has decreased from 11.8 in 20/21 to 10.6 in 21/22.

Ferland Mendy’s crossing has been terrible all through the season, and even Dani Carvajal hasn’t been the same player that he once was, in the attack. Yesterday’s game wasn’t any different, as the Frenchman delivered two inaccurate crosses against Alaves, which looked awful in real-time, while Carvajal would overpower his crosses, or pass them straight into the goalkeeper’s hands.

The regression in crossing numbers can also be attributed to the fact that the only realistic aerial target for Real Madrid in attack is Karim Benzema, as Casemiro hasn’t been given the license to attack the penalty area to get onto the end of the crosses like he was given under Zidane. Even Carlo Ancelotti thinks the same, as he says that Militao is the best aerial target after Benzema, due to his height.