Back on top of the table, y’all!
I’ll be taking over match recaps while mygypsyspirit moves and gets herself settled. I can’t hope to hold a candle to her skills in this regard, so it will be quick and dirty. I don’t think I’ve done a match recap since 2011 so excuse my rustiness.
We met Athletic on an extremely rainy Sunday at the Bernabeu. It didn’t take much to get the scoring open. Benzie put one in the net at 7′ with a nifty little assist from Isco.
G-Money had a near miss with a header at 16′ Athletic’s Sabin Merino had a similar header miss right after but he ended up scoring an equalizer at 27′
We had a few good chances in the first half, but it was not meant to be.
The second half started off with more scoring chances from both sides. We picked up the pace and began to dominate. And poor Cris, it just wasn’t his nice. He had trouble finishing and his frustration was palpable all night.
Birthday boy Morata who had come in off the bench had an initial attempt saved by Iraizoz but managed to grab a rebound.
We had the crap scared out of us at 85′ when Athlrtic nearly leveled again but Keyloriffic handled that situation. We took home all three points and we’re back on top of the table. (Video)
Additional match pictures
And I just want to say I have no idea what that headline below means!
Zidane: “We showed belief and we didn’t down tools”
by Javier Garcia
“I am happy with the work my players have put in, I liked everything that we did out there.”, added the Whites’ coach.
Zidane spoke to the press about the win against Athletic which has put his team top of LaLiga. The Real Madrid coach had the following to say about the Whites’ game: “I don’t think it was a strange game, I thought it was a tough, difficult game. They made it hard for us but I’m happy with the result and the way the game turned out. We had to suffer a little because there is no such thing as an easy game, let alone against such touch opposition”.
“We could perhaps have had more or even less accuracy, but those players gave everything out there. These days there is no such thing as an easy game. You can’t win LaLiga without suffering and working hard. We are Real Madrid and everyone seems to expect us to always score five or six goals, but that isn’t the case. There was no lack of attitude, we had opposition in front of us who played the game and made things difficult for us. I am happy with the work my players have put in. I liked everything that we did out there. My team look to me like they are raring to go and give all that they have”.
All level in LaLiga
“It will be this way throughout the season. You have to play well in every game, there are no easy games and you have to suffer right until the last. This is the message I give my players. Today we showed belief and we didn’t down tools, even in the hardest moments. We kept our cool until the goal and I’m both happy and satisfied”.
“Morata and Lucas are really looking convincing, they are doing very well. They come into the game and play well. You’re asking me when they will be in the starting eleven but they have already started games and will do so again. We are all together and will continue to be together. What I am taking away from tonight is what we did as a unit, not looking at just one specific player. This is going to be a long journey and we will need everyone”.
“It doesn’t worry me. We will try to improve on that. it is a part of football and we were facing opposition that makes life hard for you. These are little details and we will try improve on them”.
Morata or Benzema
“Everyone is entitled to their opinions. I saw Benzema and then Morata score. I’m taking that away from the game with me and I don’t have any further analysis”.
“We’ve done a good job and deserved the victory”, said Bale.
Alvaro Morata scored the winning goal against Athletic after coming off of the bench and summed up the team’s performance: “It was a very difficult match. Athletic are a great team and it’s always difficult to beat them. A lot of the top teams drop points against them. The important thing is that we won but it’s not the best game we’ve played. Now we have to keep working and improving”.
“We want to win everything this year and I have to take the coach’s decisions, work and give everything. I am very happy to be home. We are leaders and we must continue working to win the title, we are really up for it”.
Scorer on his birthday
“It couldn’t have turned out better. It’s my birthday, we have won and are top of the league. I will not celebrate because of Wednesday’s match, but I want to see my family and friends. We all like to score and more so if it’s the winning goal. I feel like a ten year old child”.
Position in the team
“Everyone wants to always play, in every possible game, but it’s difficult. I feel important in the squad. We’ve got 25 players and Zidane’s job is hard to choose who’ll play. A good problem. We are a team and are about winning together, which is what we have done. Zidane gave me a hug and congratulated me, and now we have to keep working”.
“When you’re used to scoring almost 70 goals a season, it’s almost like an addiction for goals. For us he is the most important player in the team and I hope that he scores lots of goals, but he is not a machine. He is a human being, even if he comes from another planet and is different, he also has the right to miss”.
Bale: “We knew Athletic were going to make it difficult”
“It was a difficult game against Athletic, a team that we knew were going to make things difficult because they do every year. They are a very difficult team, a physical team and they work hard and press. But I think we’ve done a good job and deserved the victory. After the this weekend results we knew it was important to win. We’re happy, but we have a long road ahead”.
“The important thing is that the team wins and we are top of the league, not who scores the goal. Cristiano works hard to keep scoring goals, but the important thing is the team and I’m sure he’s happy to be top”.
Marcelo: “We did a great job”
“The opposition made it hard for us, but we had the ball and patience. We conceded but we didn’t let it get us down. We did a great job. We have tried to be together the whole game but it is difficult. Without the possession we had to be together to get the ball back, but Athletic have good players and it is difficult. It is normal that they had control of the game at times”.
“All the players are important and everyone will have their moment, everyone works hard and working hard you get minutes. Today Morata has helped the team with the winning goal”.
The work of Cristiano
“Of course he wants to score and is a player who helps a lot and not only with goals, also with his work on the pitch”.
Navas: “These games give us confidence”
“We have taken all three points in a very difficult match against a great team. Opponents come to the Bernabéu to play their game, defending well and although we try to be in control, there are times when they find spaces on the counter and create problems. I try to do my best and this time I was able to stop the danger to help the team”.
Compliments to Morata
“We are very pleased for Morata because there is nothing more beautiful than a birthday, scoring and helping the team win at home. On top of that we are league leaders. We try to strive, to do things well and play as a team, and now we want to continue along this path. These games give us confidence”.
Next up is Wednesday’s Copa Del Rey match vs. Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa