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Three talking points from Real Madrid 4-0 Osasuna | La Liga

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

A lot was made of Real Madrid’s clash against Osasuna on Saturday being a rematch of last season’s Copa del Rey final. As it turns out, the game was not half as competitive.

The men in white showed Osasuna their place at the Santiago Bernabeu, hammering four goals past them in ninety minutes. Truth be told, the scoreline was kind on the Pamplona-based side.

A Jude Bellingham brace and goals from Vinicius Jr and Joselu helped Carlo Ancelotti’s men coast to three points and the top of the table. The visitors barely created any threat of their own and were pushed back into their fortress to defend the Merengues’ relentless attacks.

Quite simply, it was one of the team’s most comprehensive performances of the season by Real Madrid.

Madrid Universal brings you three talking points from Osasuna’s humbling at Santiago Bernabeu.

It’s always Bellingham

Jude Bellingham’s bright start to life at Real Madrid came as a pleasant surprise to fans across the globe. Yet, not many expected him to keep up the high quality consistently.

The midfield prodigy was not seen as one to contribute to goals so regularly in the new season. Now, he is not only Real Madrid’s and La Liga’s top goalscorer but also the player who gets into scoring positions the most frequently.

Saturday afternoon once again saw the English rising star in full flow. Not only was Bellingham a constant threat in the final third but also consistently contributed to the buildup and ball circulation.

His first and the team’s opening goal on the night was created by a combination of play from Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal. The Spanish right-back did well to lay the ball off centrally to Bellingham who once again showed his knack for scoring from tight spaces.

The youngster doubled his impact in the second half by scoring the team’s second goal of the night. This time around, he was the creator-in-chief and played a lovely one-two to get past Osasuna’s defence. He put the ball through the goalkeeper’s feet to finish the move and give his side a strong advantage.

Two pivotal sidemen

The present and the future. (Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images)

Bellingham, indeed, was Real Madrid’s MVP on the night. However, his game would not be half as impactful if not for the brilliant support system he had around him.

All 11 players on the field had their roles to play last afternoon, but two individuals stood out apart from the Englishman – Federico Valverde and Vinicius Jr.

The Uruguayan midfielder proved to be a real asset in the middle of the park for Los Blancos. He was solid in the press, winning six duels and making four tackles. Yet, his primary impact was as a playmaker.

Valverde played a key role in Bellingham’s second goal against Osasuna as he teed up with the player for a brilliant one-two and set him free in the box.

Later in the second period, it was once again the Uruguayan star who played Vinicius Jr in space for his blistering counter-attacking run that culminated in the team’s third goal.

The Brazilian, apart from his goal, was a thorn in Osasuna’s side. His dribbling prowess may be subdued in his central role, but Vini Jr was a key element in orchestrating the team’s play in the final third. Notably, he also got the assist for Joselu’s goal with some well-worked skills just outside the area.

Leaders ahead of the break

The dominant 4-0 win over Jagoba Arrasate’s men is critical for Real Madrid in many ways.

For starters, it comes as a serious boost for the club’s confidence in the final third. The 90 minutes played on Saturday brought out the best attacking performance Real Madrid have shown all season and stamps their authority as serious title challengers.

More importantly, however, it gives the Merengues an assured table-top position ahead of the international break. With the mandatory hiatus from club football now upon us, Real Madrid can disperse with their heads held high as the leaders both in Spain and Europe.

With momentum, mentality, and individual brilliance combining perfectly so far for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, they look more threatening than ever. To call them anything less than favourites on all fronts would be an understatement.

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Real Madrid’s best lineup next season with Kroos retiring, Mbappe and Endrick joining

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Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

It is set up to be a transformative summer for Real Madrid. After the UEFA Champions League final has concluded and the grand showdown finally has a victor, the Merengues are expected to undergo a squad revamp.

Indeed, the Santiago Bernabeu is preparing to welcome several high-profile signings, while also bidding farewell to some beloved Madrid legends.

Considering the potential arrivals of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, as well as Toni Kroos’ recent retirement, here is how Real Madrid could shape up next season:

Goalkeeper

Having made a long-awaited return from injury, Thibaut Courtois is anticipated to guard Real Madrid’s goal next season once more.

The Belgian goalie has already started featuring in the starting XI and is expected to play against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final, too.

As such, his place for next season is hardly in doubt. However, unlike previous seasons, he will face much fiercer competition from Andriy Lunin, who has enjoyed a stellar campaign.

Defence

Fortifications in the defensive line remain high on Real Madrid’s priority list in the upcoming summer transfer window. However, even with the given options the Royal Whites boast assurance and grit in their back-line.

The likely occupants on the flanks would be Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy, who have both produced great exhibitions throughout the campaign.

Ferland Mendy has the full trust of Carlo Ancelotti. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Carvajal is known to punish defensive lines and on the defensive end, his anticipation of forwards has been equally appreciable.

Meanwhile, Mendy’s resurgence this season has earned him immense faith from the coaching staff, as his defensive aptitude continues to set him apart.

In the centre-back positions, Real Madrid are expected to rely on the dependable figures of Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao.

Real Madrid consider Rudiger to be indispensable owing to his front-footed style and the important role he has had to play amidst the injury crisis. Similarly, Militao is valued by the team as he proceeds to regain match fitness after recovering from a long-term injury.

Midfield

The void of Toni Kroos in midfield will compel coach Carlo Ancelotti and co. to
reconsider their midfield strategy.

Real Madrid will be unable to count on Kroos next season. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Thankfully for Real Madrid, their succession stage had begun a while ago and they have ample options to trust in the center of the park.

With Aurelien Tchouameni protecting the base of midfield, Real Madrid will possess security and deep progression.

Ahead, occupying the interior midfield positions, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are well-suited to provide a combination of energy off the ball and threat in possession.

And to put the cherry on top, Jude Bellingham’s place as the number 10 behind the two strikers would certify his status as a pivotal playmaker and scorer in the team’s setup.

However, he is adept at making third-man runs and connecting the midfield with the offence and could play deeper to not only make up for Kroos’ absence but also facilitate more options up front.

Attack

Real Madrid’s offensive department is where the largest reform is expected to take place.

Kylian Mbappe’s goalscoring instincts need little introduction by now and he is thus anticipated to be fielded as the striker.

Vinicius Jr. is expected to take up the position as a secondary striker drifting from the left, something he has become quite accustomed to this season.

Endrick will have to battle for a starting spot. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

It is worth noting that Endrick could also play a part by either replacing Vinicius off the bench and playing off Mbappe.

It remains to be seen how many men forward Ancelotti will commit to but the presence of Mbappe and Vinicius seems set in stone, given their huge profiles and status in world football. How the manager uses Rodrygo Goes will be interesting to see as well.

All in all, considering Ancelotti’s proficiency in profiling players, Madrid fans can expect to see these stars play in favourable environments.

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