Tite announced a Brazilian squad yesterday for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers, where did not think of picking Vinicius Junior and today, the 21-year-old bagged a brace against Elche as Real Madrid moved top of the table. It was a fitting reply by the youngster to Tite, who still now has not invested enough faith in the gem, who is dubbed to be the heir of the past legends of Selecao.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) October 30, 2021
Tite may not have enough faith in Vinicius, but back in Real Madrid, the boss, Florentino Perez and the coaching staff always believed in Vinicius and backed him even when he was under harsh criticisms in the previous two seasons. Yes, the finishing of Vinicius had been a problem, while his too much time spent over the ball dented his progress.
The newly appointed coach Carlo Ancelotti took the Brazilian under his wings and this season, one could see that Vinicius is paying back the faith.
After the disappointing outcome against Osasuna a few days back, Ancelotti decided to change his lineup and tactics a bit.
Ancelotti elected to rest Karim Benzema and included Mariano Diaz over Luka Jovic upfront, with Vinicius and Rodrygo Goes on the wings. Meanwhile, Marcelo also picked up a rare start this season at a left-back, while Lucas Vazquez was returned to the right-back position.
Ancelotti’s plans had to almost immediately change, though, as an injury to Rodrygo forced a change, with Marco Asensio on as a replacement.
Tite still has not realized the worth of @vinijr but Florentino Perez realized it 3 years ago when the youngster was not welcomed by anyone. He always backed him & now Vinicius is paying back the faith. I never lost faith in him & @RodrygoGoes. They're the future of 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/s4BrVOf1Q9
— Faisal Caesar (@faisalyorker1) October 30, 2021
Elche were showing some bite on the counter-attack and Lucas Boye would produce the home side’s best chance of the first half in transition when his stinging right-footed had to be batted away by Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Elche would rue the miss, as just minutes later Real Madrid took a 0-1 lead through Vinicius. An error from Elche defender Johan Mojica allowed Casemiro to play a first-time pass into the Elche area, where it was back-heeled by Mariano to the arriving Vinicius, who finished splendidly into the net.
Vini Jr with a celebration that would make @KhabyLame proud 😂
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) October 30, 2021
As time ticked into the second half, Elche looked to respond and much of the danger generated from the hosts was coming from Lucas Boye, who drew two or sometimes even three defenders to him. There was also a deep cross intended for Lucas Perez that could have resulted in a goal if not for a slight deflection from the stabbing foot of David Alaba.
Yet right when Elche looked poised to draw level, they would hurt themselves badly as Raul Guti picked up a second yellow card and sent off for a foul on Toni Kroos. Ancelotti went right to his bench for the knockout punch, with Ferland Mendy on for Marcelo and Dani Carvajal replacing Lucas Vazquez.
The punishing blow arrived shortly thereafter with another class finish from Vinicius, who took a pass from Luka Modric, fended off a defender and used the outside of his boot to lift a shot over Elche goalkeeper Kiko Casilla to double the lead and make it 0-2.
There's no stopping Vinicius Jr. right now 💪 pic.twitter.com/8BRdjuW54m
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 30, 2021
Ancelotti’s final two changes were Eden Hazard and Eduardo Camavinga for Vinicius and Luka Modric respectively as Los Blancos looked to be on cruise control to the final whistle, but nobody told Elche and in the blink of an eye it was 1-2.
A poor pass from Casemiro deep in his own half was headed down by Dario Benedetto and bounced right to Pere Milla, who shook off Toni Kroos and beat Courtois for the goal.
The late surge from Elche would come up short though, as Real Madrid hung on to pocket the three points.