Three things we learned from Real Madrid’s 3-1 loss to Barcelona in UWCL

Real Madrid Femenino (Photo by Alvaro Medranda/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid Femenino (Photo by Alvaro Medranda/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Teresa Abelleira of Real Madrid Femenino
Real Madrid Femenino, Teresa Abelleira (Photo by Alvaro Medranda/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Teresa-Zornoza-Maite is the ideal midfield

Teresa Abelleira, Claudia Zornoza, and Maite Oroz – the Spanish trio – started in midfield. Teresa and Zornoza functioned as the double-pivot, although the former played the deeper than the latter, almost as a holding midfielder. Maite Oroz played as the central attacking midfielder/second striker (depending on the off-the-ball shape of the team: she was the highest player up the pitch while pressing alongside Esther González). Maite was often deployed in a free role behind the striker during her time at Athletic Bilbao.

With these three aforementioned players on the pitch, it was easier for Real Madrid to wrestle control of the match. Maite’s skill, Teresa’s distribution and hunger to win the ball back, and Zornoza’s ability to progress and carry the ball (there was one instance where she was a few yards behind a Barca player, yet managed to outrun her with a sudden change of acceleration to carry the ball high up the pitch) were all on show against Barcelona. Plus, they fit the high-pressing scheme implemented by the team.

This should be the starting midfield for the rest of the season, whether it’s in a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 formation. They seemed to complement each other’s attributes well and made for a very well-drilled engine of Las Blancas.