ICYMI – the back to business edition
In case you missed it – Real Madrid vs. Rayo Vallecano [2011-09-24, Liga jornada 6, 6-2].
The alegría returned to the Bernabéu on Saturday night, though the game didn’t start out too well. And judging by the show that Mou was giving on the sidelines, he was quite concerned about this game, as were the players, with these looks of intensity on their faces. But in the end, it all worked out and hopefully we can take this momentum and this optimism into the Champions League this week. And per Mou’s words, I wonder if there are some very sad people out there this week.
ONE. The last three games, we only managed to score one goal, and this game, we scored six. Cris scored his 10th hat trick with Real Madrid (nine in the Liga, one in the Copa), and his second of the season (the first one was against Zaragoza). That deserved a kiss (Irina was in the palco).
Our other forwards, Gonzalo Higuaín and Karim Benzema, also chipped in a goal each, and the celebration after Pipita’s goal was my favorite. First, Ángel di María jumped into Gonzalo’s arms, and then there was a cute hug with Marcelino.
And of course, the newest bromance had to celebrate: Gonzalo and José Callejón.
Some more of the celebrating at the Bernabéu on Saturday night.
TWO. The goal that Michu scored, 12 seconds into the game (and before many of the spectators had even sat down), was the fastest goal ever scored in the stadium, beating the goal that Cuco Ziganda scored 15 seconds into the game for Athleti on Nov. 22, 1997.
THREE. Despite being up by four goals, Iker still had the pissed off look on his face. Prior to the game, he had hugged his old friend and occasional nemesis, Raúl Tamudo.
FOUR. The substitution of Mesut Özil for Lass changed the game, and Madrid was finally able to play football and score some goals. I like how Mou went up to Lass after he subbed him out to make sure he understood why he did it.
Thoughts on Ozi’s long hair?
FIVE. With his goal, Rafa Varane become the youngest foreign footballer to score for Madrid in the Liga, at the age of 18 years and 152 days. He’s also the fourth youngest foreign player to score in the history of the Liga. And what a pretty goal he scored, no? I’m excited about him, and hope he’s given the space and the time to develop what appears to be a lot of potential.
SIX. After Ángel di María was given a second yellow card/red card, Mou went up to Rayo coach José Ramón Sandoval, shook his hand, and whispered something in his ear. They would again embrace during the game, and after it. In his post-game press conference, Sandoval revealed, “he told me I was very smart (laughs), he congratulated me for the expulsion, but he knew that it was an expulsion because (Di María) touched the ball with his hand.” Side note: Mou needs to sit Ángel down for a little chat.
SEVEN. I really need to know the secret behind Sergio’s shiny, silky and smooth hair. It just looks better and better, no?
EIGHT. Thoughts on the Adidas vest that Mou was wearing? I thought he looked like a priest.
(I didn’t write anything up there, because it’s not like you were going to read it anyway, with the pictures below.)
And while we’re on this certain area, the cameras caught José Morais giving Mou a little pat or two on the ass, and Iker throwing his practice shorts into the crowd. Why does he insist on wearing so many layers? ¿Por qué? ¿Por qué? Do I sound like Mou?
TEN. After the game, Raúl Albiol said in the mixed zone (with Cristiano running past him so he wouldn’t have to speak to the press), “I have to congratulate the fans because they were patient and they didn’t stop cheering us on in any moment.” El Chori also put those rumors that he was going to leave to rest: “I’m only thinking about working hard and helping my team. No one told me anything about how they’re not counting on me… there’s nothing (to the rumors) about leaving Real Madrid.”
Meanwhile, Kaká told Canal +, “it’s difficult to start the game by giving up a goal, but we showed a lot of character. It’s an important win, because it helps us recover our confidence.” I didn’t hear much of what he was saying, because I was thinking that he looked just like Paco Pavón, and I had never thought that the two of them resembled each other before. What do you think?
ELEVEN. The Xabi Alonso pose section.™
TWELVE. The Mou corner.
José Mourinho, in his press conference, said that the fact that Sami Khedira was on the bench had nothing to do with the expulsion from the Levante game, that it really hurt him to sub Lass out for Özil so early on in the game, “but the team needed it. Lass understood that the first priority is the team and the interests of the team are above all others.” He also said that “in adversity, you see one’s character and the men and this team have reacted.”
I mentioned his gestures earlier, and I also liked how while Madrid was taking a corner, Mou called Iker over to give him some encouragement.
THIRTEEN. In the morning, the players left their hotel for Valdebebas to have a training session. Sergio must know how good his hair looks, he looks like he’s on a runway. And of course, the A-team was together, while everyone’s best friend Pipita had his arm around Mesut as they walked towards the bus.