Real Madrid extended their unbeaten streak this season to 15 games in all competitions with a 3-0 win over Elche in La Liga despite three goals not counted by the VAR system.
Federico Valverde opened the scoring with a beautiful shot from outside the box, his sixth goal of the season, with Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio setting the score in the second half.
The Frenchman’s goal came after he saw three attempts rejected by the VAR system for offside, which could have been decisive if Carlos Clerc had gone home and had a golden opportunity to equalize.
However, Andrey Lunin’s save kept him at bay: Benzema’s goal then ensured there would be no comeback, and Asensio added a shine to the score at the end.
— Real Madrid FC (@realmadriden) October 19, 2022
In a frantic start, Benzema scored a goal six minutes later, although the kick was banned for offside, but Valverde’s kick did count just five minutes later, breaking the goal from outside the penalty area after Vinicius Junior’s kick deflected in his path.
Three minutes before the half hour mark, Benzema was once again disappointed by VAR after the newly minted Ballon d’Or winner’s second goal was scored, leaving Elche still in the game at half-time.
Benzema’s disappointment continued into the second period as the Frenchman saw VAR fail for the third time due to offside in the build-up at the hour mark.
Clerk should have made Madrid regret the missed opportunities in the final 20 minutes, but his close-range header was saved by Lunin, who had done little to this point.
Any hope of a late home comeback was dashed when Benzema finally scored his goal, playing a neat one-two with Rodrigo to score, and then Asensio delicately softened a volley over Edgar Badia to widen the lead.
What does it mean? Madrid is moving forward
Real Madrid’s unbeaten streak, which began in the UEFA Super Cup against Eintracht Frankfurt, is now 15 games after beating Elche. This shows that Ancelotti’s team, six points ahead of Barcelona at the top of La Liga, having played a game more, continues to be the cream of Europe.
Only Osasuna and Shakhtar Donetsk have managed to avoid being beaten by the Creamers this season, while neither team has managed to hold back their devastating attack – Shakhtar were the closest in the Champions League before Antonio Rudiger equalized score in the 95th minute.
While Elche isn’t the biggest challenge Madrid will face this season, the run of results serves as a warning to the rest of La Liga and their European rivals that Ancelotti’s men are serious again.
Cutting edge Valverde
Valverde has been one of Madrid’s standouts this season, with his sixth goal against Elche in 15 appearances for Ancelotti in all competitions.
This represents a significant improvement in the final third as it equals the number of goals he scored in his first 148 appearances for Los Blancos.
The role of Rodrigo
Rodrigo’s two assists against Elche bring the Brazilian’s total La Liga season goals to eight in eight games (four goals, four assists), and the 21-year-old is another good start to the campaign.
This bodes well for Brazil ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, where Rodrigo could come of age in the tournament if he maintains the form he has shown at club level.
On Saturday, Madrid host Sevilla in La Liga and Elche’s drive for their first league win of the season takes them to Espanyol.