Real Madrid beat Frankfurt 2-0 in this year’s edition of the UEFA Super Cup Final. Goals from David Alaba and Karim Benzema handed Los Blancos their first trophy of the season. There were some brilliant individual performances and a few new tactical implementations. In this article, I will provide some key things I noticed during the game.
Courtois has massively improved with the ball at his feet
In his first two seasons at the club, Tibo struggled to make simple diagonal switches and sometimes even simple passes. Now, he’s heavily involved in our build up play and every player trusts him. He’s not as good with his feet as Ederson or Neuer, but he has massively improved which allows us to progress the ball more comfortably.
Militao and Alaba Masterclass
Throughout the entire game, the duo defended on the front foot. They didn’t give Borré Maury a chance to settle as they always nicked the ball off him or won the aerial duel. This season, Carlo definitely has a headache on his hand when picking the center-back pairing.
My man of the match on the night, Toni Kroos. He recycled the ball, dictated the tempo and was defensively sound. He had an impressive pre-season and he looks sharp going into the start of La Liga campaign. It’s likely that this is his last season in white, so he wants to make this an unforgettable one for his teammates and supporters.
Fede’s football IQ is underrated
People describe Fede as a “road runner” and compare him to Kante. It’s a massive compliment for Fede to be compared to Kante as he’s a proven, world class footballer. However, Fede accompanies his supreme engine with incredible technical ability and tactical knowledge. The ability to support the full back and midfield defensively while providing a constant offensive outlet and sometimes even drifting centrally isn’t just down to having elite stamina. You must have a great understanding of your role and the game in general to competently do your job. This season will be a big one for Fede, especially with this being his first time at the World Cup.
Defensively Mendy is always superb. Winning tackles, battling in every 50/50 and contesting in aerial duels. Offensively though, he rarely provides an outlet on the overlap. In this match, his overall decision making on the ball was poor which hindered our build up on the left flank. I want him to start in the big games when there’s top class right wingers. However, when we need to break down low blocks, Alaba is the better option as he’s always an offensive threat.
This is an example of where Mendy has to improve.
Vini played a one touch pass to Mendy with the intention of getting the ball back to complete the 1,2 sequence. Mendy took his touch inside, and in fairness to him, found Modric, but the ball ended up on the sideline for a throw-in. My point is, if he had played the simpler pass to Vini, there could have been a better opportunity to create a chance/score.
Vinzema is back
I don’t think I need to say much about this duo. They’re back with the intention of causing havoc to opposition defenses.