It was only the middle of the week, Real Madrid had already tried to redesign part of the soccer stretch from their offices, that had dissolved in a whirlwind of protests and desertions, and then they found football on the grass. There, in the field, the opportunity for another reinvention with cleat boots instead of loafers. The team, consumed by injuries, exhaustion and the coronavirus, appeared in Cádiz without Kroos, Modric or Valverde, a bare midfield like never before and another puzzle on the board that led to another Madrid, one more this year, this rare and unstitched in the center, lethal and rapturous around the area. Benzema appeared, Rodrygo, Vinicius and Casemiro appeared, and 10 minutes fell in which Madrid blew up the game and once again reached the head of the League – simply – Atlético, who still must play today.
Before that outbreak, half an hour of disorientation passed, in which Real, again with three centrals, and Varane back, did not recognize himself, as surprised to look in the mirror and not find anything in the center. Without Kroos and Modric stitching the whole team’s game, the area was occupied by Casemiro and the youth squad Antonio Blanco, who made his debut in the League, very firm, very safe. But the pair did not seem at all appetizing as a stopping point for the ball. The situation was so strange to a Madrid used to chewing the game that the game was led by Álvaro Negredo, a hunter of balls in flight. The striker dominated the space, measured the times and distributed the ball with that resounding and precise aplomb crowned with the intelligence of years of kicking stadiums. Not even Nacho, in this imperial stretch of his career, seemed capable of deciphering it.
This is how the ball came and went from one side to the other, half for each one, until Benzema began to drop near the center of the field and was sweeping everything so rudimentary. The Frenchman approached for the ball and also dragged Casemiro forward by the hand, by then already confident in the firmness with which Blanco was going to guard his back.
That precipitated the collapse of Cádiz, which without fully understanding what had happened found itself with a penalty against, the first in favor of Madrid since October. Benzema launched Vinicius into space, who received a stomp from Iza inside the area. Mateu missed the set, but the VAR immediately slipped and Benzema overtook the team and launched it into the vertigo of the downhill.
The goal woke them up, they pushed the exit of Cádiz higher and immediately the Frenchman transformed a steal of the ball into a dance step and a delicate and deadly center to the far post, where Odriozola had the head, who scored the second. Since the meeting ran under Negredo, barely a blink had passed, but it had already escaped Cádiz.
With the relief of the advantage and the perplexity of the opponent, Benzema indulged in a night of recreational deployment in which he wanted to play with Rodrygo and Casemiro. He left him a goal almost made from the head, but the Brazilian narrowly missed over Ledesma’s crossbar. So, they tried the other way around. Casemiro, who almost lived in the area, sent her delicately at the head of the Frenchman, who sealed his night with two goals and an assist.
The rest of the meeting left Madrid with an unusual collection of good news, to which so little has become accustomed in recent days. Dani Carvajal returned after an injury that was longer than expected, and moved lightly and on the attack, protected by Militão, who lengthens his days of take-off as a center-back. Another product from La Fábrica, Miguel Gutiérrez, made his debut in the League to give Marcelo a break. And even Benzema enjoyed a few minutes of respite, an oasis in the overwhelming calendar that a Champions League semi-final first leg against Chelsea, one of the first escapes from the Super League rebellion, reserves for them next week.