5 Things We Learned in Real Madrid's 2-0 Win

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistOctober 20, 2012

5 Things We Learned in Real Madrid's 2-0 Win

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    On Saturday, Real Madrid took care of business at home with a 2-0 win in La Liga over Celta Vigo.

    Gonzalo Higuain opened the scoring in the 11th minute for the hosts with a brilliant cross that ended up in the back of the net.

    The only other Madrid goal came from Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored on a penalty in the 67th minute.

    Madrid had plenty of chances to score more goals but were only able to score two on a night where Iker Casillas had little to do but when he had to make some big saves, he did.

    Here are five things that we learned from Real Madrid's 2-0 home win on Saturday.

No Full-Backs, No Problem

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    Going into Saturday's match, there were plenty of concerns for Real Madrid at the full-back position.

    With Marcelo Vieira, Fabio Coentrao and Alvaro Arbeloa out with injuries, manager Jose Mourinho started Michael Essien in place of the injured starters.

    Essien played a solid 90 minutes for Madrid, and in the few times he had to make a play on defense, he was able to help his club out.

    With both full-backs out for a significant amount of time, look for Essien to get more time in the back four alongside Sergio Ramos, Pepe and Raphael Varane for the time being.

Options in Attack for Real Madrid Are Unlimited

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    Real Madrid utilized all three substitutions on Saturday and all three of them easily joined the Real Madrid attack.

    Angel Di Maria, Jose Maria Callejon and Karim Benzema all made instant impacts in the second half on the attack.

    The most noticeable of the three subs was the one who spent the least amount of time on the pitch.

    Benzema had two great chances on net after coming on for Gonzalo Higuain in the 85th minute, but both times the Frenchman was called for being offside.

Cristiano Ronaldo Must Finish Wide-Open Chances

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    During Saturday's match, Cristiano Ronaldo was not in top finishing form.

    Ronaldo had two wide-open chances on net, one in each half, and failed to connect on both them.

    Although he did score on a penalty in the 67th minute, the Portuguese star missed two wide-open headers in the 23rd and 62nd minutes.

    Against a club like Celta Vigo, who are in the middle of the table, those misses may not matter, but against the bigger clubs in Spain, Ronaldo has to finish on wide-open chances.

Iker Casillas Made a Few Big Saves Late to Save Real Madrid

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    After not facing much pressure from the Celta Vigo attack for most of the match, Iker Casillas was forced into action in the final 10 minutes to secure a Real Madrid victory.

    With the visitors trying to sneak in a goal or two at the end, Casillas made three big saves in the span of five minutes.

    The two shots that gave Casillas the biggest challenges came on an 82nd minute free kick by Alex Lopez and an 88th minute header by Mario Bermejo.

    With an offense that only scored two goals on the night, Casillas played the role of hero for Madrid in the final 10 minutes to make sure his club did not slip up and lose any points at home.

Celta Vigo Are a Resilient Side

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    After the first Real Madrid goal in the 11th minute, Celta Vigo could have packed it in and taken the loss, but instead they played with resilience and continued to attack throughout the match.

    Celta Vigo have a dangerous group of forwards led by Iago Aspas, but it was Mario Bermejo, Michael Krohn-Dehli and Alex Lopez who created the chances for the visitors in the second half.

    Along with creating chances for their forwards, the Celta Vigo defense did not give up during the match either.

    The back four were able to thwart plenty of Madrid attacks but they also got lucky with Madrid missing plenty of open chances during the match.