Real Madrid have earned 4 points out of a possible 6 in their first two league matches, in the second reign of Carlo Ancelotti. So far, we have been able to draw several conclusions, both collectively and individually. Most interesting has been the stellar performances of a totally revitalized Vinicius.
The young Brazilian has always been the focus of discussion in previous seasons due to his lack efficiency in front of goal. This season though, Vinicius has begun with 3 goals in 2 games, appearing in both fixtures as a substitute. Working out at a goal every 18 minutes, each strike is already a candidate for goal of the month!
To learn a little more about this new Vinicius, at the MBP School of Coaches, we will analyze in depth, through the game fundamentals, his first 3 goals of 2021/22.
Goal 1 (Alaves 1-4 Real Madrid / 91’)
Fundamental 1: Attacking the most effective spaces to finish the cross.
At the start of the play in the lead up to the goal, Vinicius starts from out wide with the ball, and, after combining inside with a teammate, runs in to attack the area. At first, he finds himself surrounded by 3 opponents and marked by Laguardia. The attacker makes a wise decision in attacking an open hole behind Laguardia, who is caught ball-watching and loses sight of the Brazilian. It is the perfect application of the fundamental, executed in the style of a pure number 9, that culminates in a diving header to score past the goalkeeper.
Goal 2 (Levante 2-2 Real Madrid / 72’)
Fundamental 2: Dismarking into the inside spaces in depth when there is a spatial imbalance in the defensive line
Due to the risk taken by the ‘Granotes’ in pushing up to press high, Real Madrid manage to break through the opposition’s initial pressure. Casemiro is able to receive the ball with enough time and space to play a long through ball for Vinicius, who dismarks in behind against the advanced unbalanced Levante defensive line.
In this advantageous situation for Real, Vinicius uses his impressive power and speed to make his run, expertly using the fundamental of dismarking in depth through the inside spaces. He perfectly times his run with the laser pass from his compatriot Casemiro.
This type of scene is nothing new of the forward, as Vinicius has demonstrated flashes of this brilliance against opposing defences in the past. What surprised us most about the goal was his excellent finish, arriving quickly into the space, before pausing and then finishing the ball accurately away from the goalkeeper’s reach. Another key element worthy of a number 9 goalscorer.
Goal 3 (LEV 3-3 RMA / 84’)
Fundamental 3: Fixing the defending for an overlapping teammate + Looking for the defenders’ backs
In this third goal by Vinicius Junior, we can observe at a tactical level a perfect understanding and assertive-motor communication between Benzema and the Brazilian. As the winger is about to overlap the striker, Benzema fixes the opposition full back with a small dribble. This leads to a 2v1 situation on the wing, which Vinicius takes advantage of by cleverly overlapping on the outside and receiving a flawless pass from the French star to exploit the situation.
The rest is history, as the finish is something that could have been scored by Ronaldinho or Neymar himself. Utilizing the fundamental, ‘using all available resources’, Vinicius subtly lifts the ball up into the far corner and into the only possible space, completely taking the goalkeeper by surprise.
In conclusion, we are cautious to celebrate too early the start the player has made to the season, as we are still at the very beginning of this new campaign. What we can begin to sense, however, is that the Brazilian has taken greats steps forward in terms of his maturity, which we hope he can continue in doing so. It is clear the player has unquestionable talent and superiority in many parts of his game, and this may be a sign he will be capable of fulfilling the potential that he has been unable to do so in his first three years at Real Madrid.