Real Madrid @ Mallorca: Halftime Thoughts
The first half ended 2-0 in favor of the visitors.
There has been a lot of talk about Messi coming into his own as the best in the world over the last few weeks and lost has been the absolutely incredible play of Arjen Robben with Real Madrid.
Robben was back at it today, destroying Mallorca along the wight side of the field for the entire first half including a goal in the third minute.
Mallorca started the game with five defenders hoping to curb some of the speed Robben brings to Los Blancos, but the islanders had no answer when Higuain and Robben took off on the counter early in the game.
Robben is definitely not in the CR7 and Messi stratosphere yet, but he has taken over games consistently since Juande Ramos took over as manager and has looked unmarkable—even by four or five defenders.
It was also nice to see Higuain make a spirited comeback from injury. He set up both first half goals and looked dangerous throughout.
Continuing with our theme of exalting attacking players, this is a special day for El Capitan, Raul, who, in his 500th game, got a goal. While the goal should probably be credited to Higuain for all of his work, Raul was in the right place at the right time to tap it home and deserves all the credit in the world.
On the other side of the pitch, the defense that was put together at the beginning of the season—Ramos, Cannavaro, Pepe, and Heinze—are all finally healthy and have looked great the past two days.
Casillas has been in true Saint Iker form as well, but it has helped to have a competent back four in front of him. This is not something that could be said for much of the season.
The defense is also benefiting from the arrival of Lassana Diarra, who is fitting right in alongside Gago and doing a great job disrupting the opponents flow in the midfield. I was worried about how quickly he would be able to jump in, but he has, thus far, been much better than advertised.
Thats all for the first half. I will have more after the final whistle.
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