Real Madrid visited La Coruna in their first “final” out of six as they faced a must-win game with Zidane choosing to field a rotated squad on the night.
Kiko Casilla, Danilo, Nacho Fernandez, Raphael Varane, Marcelo [C], Mateo Kovacic, James Rodriguez, Isco, Lucas Vazquez, Marco Asensio, and Alvaro Morata
Deportivo La Coruna –
Florin Andone (35′)
Real Madrid –
Alvaro Morata (1′)
James Rodriguez (14′)
Lucas Vazquez (44′)
James Rodriguez (66′)
Carlos Casemiro (87′)
Raphael Varane has returned from injury at the perfect time as Sergio Ramos was suspended after receiving his marching orders in the match against Barcelona earlier this week. There was a slight scare with him starting as people feared a relapse, which is what happened the last time the French defender was picked in the starting eleven. Having said that, he was able to play for pretty much the full game before being substituted in the dying minutes as Alvaro Tejero made his La Liga debut for the team. Varane wasn’t at his best, which was to be expected, but he covered his position well and this game will do wonders for his recovery as Los Blancos face some massive games in the next month.
Given a rare chance to start under Zinedine Zidane, Mateo Kovacic was given the task to practically hold the midfield on his own. Without Luka Modric or Toni Kroos helping him out, it was always going to be a difficult job for the Croatian but he did it very impressively. Causing problems for the Deportivo forward, Kovacic also gave us the honor of witnessing some amazing runs and dribbles that not many in his position are able to do as effective as he can. It just makes me wonder why Zidane counts on Carlos Casemiro so much when we have someone like Kovacic in the squad…
I have honestly run out of things to say about this beautiful man! He continues his unbelievable form against Deportivo La Coruna with some impressive skill and has shown Zidane once again that he simply HAS to be selected in the starting lineup. His performance has raised continuous questions as to why Zidane didn’t pick him in El Clasico nor did he bring him on at any point during the match. With one eye on the UEFA Champions League semifinals against Atletico Madrid next week, many will be expecting Isco to start in both legs and that not happening is simply criminal.
Not many people are expecting to see James Rodriguez in a Real Madrid jersey next season but that doesn’t mean that the Colombian midfielder will be giving up anytime soon. James was extremely impressive against Deportivo and was able to get his name on the scoresheet twice on the night while we can’t forget his amazing run to score an equalizer against Barcelona in the Clasico after coming on as a substitute. It’s no secret that he’s unhappy with the lack of playing time under Zidane but that’s what happens when you have the squad depth that we have unfortunately.