Brahim Diaz shone brightly against Atletico Madrid last night. The youngster was notified minutes before the start that he would be replacing Vinicius Jr in the lineup, yet dished out an absolute clinic for 71 minutes where he even scored the team’s only goal.
In the end, however, his effort was neutralised by a stoppage-time goal by Atletico Madrid that forced the hosts to split points on the night.
Speaking to the media after the clash, the man of the match, Brahim Diaz, reflected on the clash and the harsh result that Real Madrid faced on the night.
“Bad taste in the mouth at the end because we are tied at the last minute. We have done an impeccable job, we have played very well and I think we have dominated the whole game.”
“The tie makes that great work we have done today less visible. But this team is incredible and this will give us even more strength,” he added on the draw.
The youngster admitted that Real Madrid were the superior of the two sides on the night and deserved to take all three points. After all, Diaz himself had a golden chance to gift his side a 2-0 lead early in the second half that he failed to convert.
“We have deserved to win. This is football and this draw gives us even more strength because we know what we are capable of. We have to continue like this because we are at a very good level.”
The winger also expressed his deepest gratitude to the fans in the stands who cheered for him and the team throughout the clash.
“I am very grateful to all the fans today. They have been tight and behind us, very grateful for the affection always. My game has been good, I’m happy to score the goal but a little annoyed by the draw.”
Finally, he gave his two cents on the upcoming game against Girona which is more important now than ever after Los Blancos’ dropped points.
“It’s going to be a fundamental match. We are going to continue as we are doing. It’s going to be a nice game that you have to win.”
Source: Real Madrid website
Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report
Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.
The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.
Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.
This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.
Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia
Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.
With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.
This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.
Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.
What are Ancelotti’s other options?
Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.
The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.
Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.
Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.