The Royal Whites – Real Madrid have moved further closer to their 34th La Liga title as they beat Deportivo Alaves by 2-0. Marco Asensio grabbed Madrid’s second goal after Benzema’s early penalty, and Zinedine Zidane’s side could have stretched their lead as a string of chances came their way.

The Los Blancos went ahead with an 11th-minute spot-kick from Benzema after Ferland Mendy was brought down by Alaves right-back Ximo Navarro.

While Sergio Ramos was smiling from the dressing room, Benzema calmly fired the ball into the bottom left corner.

Real, at that stage, survived a scare when Joselu headed against the crossbar from just five yards and Lucas Perez’s follow-up was booted off the line by Raphael Varane. Joselu squandered another chance when he shot wide for Alaves.

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Benzema and Rodrygo Goes saw shots stopped by Roberto Jimenez as Madrid went in for the kill time and again.

Alaves did ask questions to the backline of Real Madrid and during such times, Rodrygo set up a beautiful ball to Benzema, who ran past the markers, and before slipping in, he passed the ball to an unmarked Asensio, who made it 2-0 and ensured full points.

Rodrygo Goes setting up the second goal of Real Madrid. Image Courtesy: Twitter
Rodrygo Goes setting up the second goal of Real Madrid. Image Courtesy: Twitter

That moment of delicate play from the young Brazilian shifted the balance fully towards Real Madrid. He had impressed Zidane against Athletic Club and against Alaves, he was even better than the previous match.

Tactically Zidane relies on the flanks more as the Los Blancos tries to break through via crosses. Zidane just shifts the flow of possession from one side to another consistently until the defence of the opposition melts down and it has worked well so far, but Alaves studied it better and thus packed the flanks to suffocate Real.

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Zidane played Rodrygo on the left and not right. He linked-up with Ferland Mendy and broke the resistance of Alaves. His incisive dribbling, along with Mendy’s runs on the overlap unlocked everything Real Madrid needed on the break. Even if two defenders tried to undermine Rodrygo, he dared to outweighed them and escape to find space – the spaces were half, but Rodrygo tried to exploit them as Real game changed from compactness to attacking and fluid football.

51% of Real Madrid’s attack came from the left as Rodrygo completed 6 successful dribbles, 87% passing accuracy, and created several chances – one of them fetched a goal.

Under Zidane, Rodrygo is evolving and with the kind of intent he plays, he is bound to reach the top in Real Madrid and Brazil.