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Real Madrid Snatches Late Victory in Mendizorroza Thriller

A Tactical Chess Match Decided by Late Heroics

Real Madrid emerged victorious from a tense encounter with Deportivo Alavés at the Mendizorroza Stadium today, securing a narrow 1-0 win thanks to a dramatic stoppage-time goal from Lucas Vázquez. The match was a tactical chess match between Carlo Ancelotti’s experienced veterans and Pablo Machín’s defensively resolute Alavés side, with moments of brilliance and grit defining the ninety minutes.

A First Half of Frustration and Missed Opportunities:

Real Madrid, seeking to maintain their La Liga title challenge, dominated possession from the outset. Toni Kroos and Luka Modrić orchestrated the midfield with their trademark metronomic passing, but Alavés’ compact 5-3-2 formation frustrated the visitors’ attacking forays. Vinícius Jr. and Rodrygo, usually a potent attacking duo, were kept tightly marshaled by the Alavés backline. Karim Benzema, despite glimpses of his world-class ability, found clear chances elusive.

The home side, meanwhile, grew in confidence as the half progressed. Manu Garcia and Mamadou Loum Cisse stifled Real Madrid’s midfield creativity, while Joselu and Edgar Méndez threatened on the counter-attack. The best chance of the half fell to Alavés, with Joselu’s glancing header from a Rubén Duarte cross agonizingly brushing the Real Madrid crossbar.

Second Half Drama and a Red Card Turning Point:

The second half began with a similar pattern, but the complexion of the game changed dramatically shortly after the hour mark. Nacho Fernández, caught out by Joselu’s clever run, received a straight red card for pulling down the Alavés striker, reducing Real Madrid to ten men. This seemed to swing the momentum towards the home side, who sensed an upset was within reach.

However, Ancelotti responded with tactical shrewdness, bringing on Federico Valverde for Marco Asensio and shifting to a 4-4-1 formation. Valverde’s tireless energy and direct running injected a new lease of life into the Real Madrid attack. The visitors gradually regained control of the midfield, pinning Alavés back into their own half.

Dramatic Climax and Late Winner:

As the clock ticked towards full-time, the tension at the Mendizorroza was palpable. Both teams seemed destined for a share of the spoils until, in the 90th minute, drama unfolded. A Luka Modrić free-kick was flicked on by Benzema, and Lucas Vázquez, unmarked at the far post, stabbed the ball past a helpless Antonio Sivero in the Alavés goal. The Bernabéu erupted in celebration, relief, and perhaps a touch of disbelief.

Tactical Nuances and Individual Brilliance:

Real Madrid’s win was a testament to their resilience and Ancelotti’s astute management. Despite being reduced to ten men, they showed determination and tactical flexibility to grind out the result. Kroos and Modrić were imperious in midfield, while Valverde’s introduction proved decisive. Lucas Vázquez’s late winner epitomized the never-say-die spirit that has become synonymous with Real Madrid.

Alavés, however, can take heart from their spirited performance. Machín’s defensive tactics frustrated Real Madrid for large periods, and they were unfortunate not to capitalize on their numerical advantage after Nacho’s red card. Joselu and Duarte were particularly impressive, while Sivero made several important saves to keep his side in the contest until the very end.

Real Madrid’s win keeps them within striking distance of Barcelona at the top of La Liga. This hard-fought victory, secured in dramatic fashion, is a reminder of the relentless pursuit of excellence that defines this iconic club.

Above analysis assisted by Google Bard, below analysis assisted by ChatGPT.

Real Madrid’s Stellar Victory: A Comprehensive Game Analysis

Real Madrid showcased their dominance in the latest La Liga clash, securing an impressive win that further solidified their position as one of the top contenders in the league. Their performance against Deportivo Alaves was a testament to their strategic prowess and individual brilliance.

Match Overview

Real Madrid, currently second in the La Liga standings, came into the match following a decisive 4-1 victory over Villarreal. Their opponents, Deportivo Alaves, positioned at 14th in the league, were grappling with recent setbacks, including a heavy 3-0 defeat to Girona. This match was crucial for Alaves to regain some ground and for Real Madrid to maintain their pursuit of the league leaders.

Tactical Breakdown

  • Real Madrid’s Formation: Coach Carlo Ancelotti employed a robust 4-2-3-1 formation, leveraging the midfield prowess of Kroos and Valverde. Bellingham and Modric added depth on the flanks, supporting the attack led by Diaz and Rodrygo.
  • Deportivo Alaves’ Strategy: Alaves, under the guidance of Luis Garcia, opted for a 4-3-3 formation. With a focus on a strong midfield trio including Blanco, Guridi, and Hagi, they aimed to create opportunities for their front three, including the experienced Kike Garcia.

Key Moments and Highlights

  • Real Madrid’s attacking force was in full display, with Bellingham and Rodrygo making significant contributions.
  • Alaves struggled to find their rhythm, hampered by recent injuries and suspensions.
  • The game saw Real Madrid dominate possession, showcasing their trademark quick passes and strategic positioning.

Player Performances

  • Jude Bellingham: A standout performer for Real Madrid, Bellingham’s dynamic play and goal-scoring ability were central to the team’s success.
  • Nacho: Stepping in for the injured Alaba, Nacho delivered a solid defensive performance, proving crucial in maintaining a clean sheet.

Statistical Overview

  • Real Madrid have maintained an excellent record against Alaves, with a significant number of victories in their past encounters.
  • Alaves’ struggle in the final third was evident, with a lack of goals in recent matches underscoring their offensive challenges.


Real Madrid’s victory was a combination of tactical brilliance, effective team coordination, and individual excellence. As they continue their chase for the top spot in La Liga, this match serves as a reminder of their potent capabilities and resilience as a team. Alaves, despite the loss, showed moments of promise but need to address their offensive and defensive strategies to climb up the league table.

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