Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Who's driving the bus?

van Nistelrooy and Carew

Hundred-ish-word review of last night's game:

  • Carew outsmarts Cannavaro and beats Casillas (11')
  • Guti picks up an injury and leaves Real without a playmaker (20')
  • Lyon go 2 up after a free-kick conceded by Cannavaro (31')
  • Diarra risks having his block knocked off diving to meet Ruud van Nistelrooy's crossed header and score (39')
  • Capello gets desperate and brings Cassano in for Emerson (76')
  • Ruud taps in Real's equaliser after Raúl's header came off the post (83')
  • Ruud has a penalty kick saved, his third in five attempts this season (89')
  • Carew makes Cannavaro's life a misery (01'-90')

Two things are painfully obvious from last night's display: Cannavaro is a long way from showing the form that allegedly has won him the prestigious Ballon d'Or and Capello has nobody able to replace Guti - not Reyes, not Robinho, not Raúl. Given that he's now been suspended for two league matches following his rush of blood to the head on Saturday, it will be interesting to see how Capello rearranges his side to face injury-decimated Valencia.

It was good to see Real Madrid show some grit and passion to claw their way back into the match and to almost snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with the award of a dubious penalty in the final couple of minutes. These qualities have been sadly lacking in the Florentino years but they are a poor substitute for the flair and creativity that is needed in midfield if they are to take full advantage of their effectiveness in front of goal.
Match report

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