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, Carlo Ancelotti
Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

5. Ancelotti doesn’t seem to be trusting his bench when the team’s just a goal up

Don Carlo’s substitutions are always a talking point during Real Madrid’s games. Every Real Madrid player is asked to warm up by Ancelotti during the second half, which makes it difficult for people to predict who’s going to be subbed on. And the fact that Ancelotti makes his substitutions late in the game adds to the suspense.

And Ancelotti’s substitutions were a topic of discussion during yesterday’s game as well, with commentators talking a lot about that. But it wasn’t about whom Ancelotti was going to sub on or who is going to come off because he didn’t even make a substitution until the 82nd minute.

The Italian was going to sub on Rodrygo after the 60th minute, with the scoreline still reading 0-0. But Asensio scored a wonder goal then, which made the gaffer change his mind and ask Rodrygo to go back to the bench. Maybe it was Asensio who was going to be subbed off and the goal changed his mind. In the press, he had admitted that he wanted to see them play longer together as he liked the way in which they were playing.

It would be fine if that was the case, but the fact that there was no movement on the bench for 19 more minutes and Carlo Ancelotti called for substitutions immediately after Vinicius scored the insurance goal shows only thing. Ancelotti was afraid of conceding a goal after he makes the changes when the team was leading with a solitary goal.

Usually, a manager doesn’t hesitate to sub on players in situations where a goal is needed and doesn’t refrain from experimenting with the team when they’re leading comfortably. But the actual preferences of a manager can be understood during the former situation, and also when the team is leading by one goal. It would be interesting to see whom the manager trusts to help the team preserve the lead and see off the game.

But when the score was 1-0 for 19 minutes, Ancelotti didn’t make a single change, even with the likes of Hazard, Bale, Camavinga, and Kroos on the bench. It was quite surprising, and it might also suggest that Ancelotti didn’t want to take a risk by trusting the players on the bench and making substitutions. In such a scenario, Ancelotti isn’t sending a positive message to the dressing room with these decisions.

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If there’s any topic that doesn’t deserve any talk and importance, it is Ancelotti’s choice of substitutions in yesterday’s game. There wasn’t a lot of time left after the second goal, and Ancelotti had used all the five substitutions by giving minutes to fringe players like Ceballos and Marcelo. So it isn’t necessarily a controversial point that needs to be talked about.