Three questions and three answers from Real Madrid 5-0 Alavés

real Madrid continued the party at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium as Alavés fell victim to the champions with a crushing victory. Early on, Jude Bellingham scored a finely volleyed goal, before Vinícius Júnior scored a second and Fede Valverde smashed a third into the back of the net. After the break, the Englishman set up the Brazilian for a second time and substitute Arda Güler took over to seal a 5-0 victory.

Three answers

1. Is there anything left to play?

With Real Madrid having already sealed the title and Alavés already assured of relegation and far from having a whiff of European football, this match was in fact a glorified exhibition match. Carlo Ancelotti did not hesitate in selecting his team, choosing a very strong line-up that would not have looked out of place in a Champions League tie at another point in the season, with many likely to start at Wembley. June 1st. The prospect of fighting for a place in this team is all that's really left to motivate these Real Madrid players, and it's safe to say who has that on the line as Eduardo Camavinga took risks while perhaps other players could have played it safe. , and were looking to move forward while others were happy to take things slow. That's exactly when he stretched to collect the ball, sprint and set up Vinícius Júnior for the second goal. In any case, that doesn't stop Real Madrid from putting on a show!

2. What kind of Éder Militão would we see?

Since Éder Militão's return following his ACL injury in August, we haven't really seen him at his best. He looks rusty and out of training, lacking the strength and physicality that have made him such an iconic figure in Real Madrid's defense. Against Alavés he had a difficult opponent in Samu Omorodion, the Alavés striker on loan from Atlético Madrid who has scored nine goals this season. Militão handled it well and didn't shy away from the challenge, and his stats were actually quite impressive with seven duels won, a match record, but he didn't look as confident as the madridistas are accustomed. He needs more time to get back into shape.

3. What is the condition of the Bernabéu pitch?

Images posted on social media this week showed that the turf at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium was in a less than ideal condition as it had been brought up to surface level from the underground greenhouse, and it had not improved significantly since then. There were patches of dead grass, particularly on the flanks, and the goalmouths were waved quickly and without much footwork from either keeper. This has had little impact on the game itself, but there is a real risk of injury to players when playing on turf like this. An injury to a Real Madrid player could prove very costly, and is something the club must work on as a priority ahead of the 2024/25 season. Teething problems have always been inevitable with the new layout and stadium works, but this is a fairly significant problem that is fortunate not to have occurred with higher stakes.

Three questions

1. Is it worth charging €75 ($81) for a ticket to a game like this?

As mentioned before, there was little to nothing in a game like this, but the players didn't show as much of how they worked throughout the game. The stands at the Bernabéu had a few empty seats for the first time in a long time, and this despite the party atmosphere and celebrations that saw the whole city come together 48 hours before. There are a number of factors at play here, one being the fact that kick-off took place at 9:30pm on a Tuesday evening (which is far from family friendly). Plus, aside from the lame spectacle of opponents and the stakes, the regional holiday Wednesday means many may have opted to come up with a better plan. But above all there is a moment of reflection. The cheapest tickets available to the general public were set at €75, the equivalent of $81. Is it any surprise that madridistas aren't buying tickets? The club needs to raise funds and there will be no shortage of people wanting to attend, but this was one of the rare occasions where empty seats are visible from the press box, and perhaps a missed opportunity to attracting a different crowd who I can't afford such prices.

2. Should Arda Güler have started this match?

There had been speculation before the match that Arda Güler could be in the starting line-up alongside some of the club's biggest names, after weeks of playing in a wide variety of squads. The Turk was even tipped to play alongside Jude Bellingham and Vinícius Júnior in what would have been an intriguing front three had he taken the lead, but he was left on the bench. He replaced Camavinga for the final half hour and got on the scoresheet in the 82nd minute for his fourth goal in eight La Liga matches. The future looks bright, but fans are eager to see even more of Güler and Ancelotti could handle that excitement well.

3. Will it be Andriy Lunin or Thibaut Courtois in goal in the Champions League final?

From the second minute, the Bernabéu chanted the name of Thibaut Courtois in the stadium, who made a powerful save from the start. While Éder Militão's form has shown just how much such a serious injury can impact a player, Courtois looks as good as before his ACL injury. Of course, they play in very different positions, but the Belgian has looked reliable and solid with quick reactions and looks very sharp in reacting. Andriy Lunin was on the bench for this match, his third in a row in La Liga and it is the first time he has missed consecutive matches since November, when he played as Kepa's deputy. Ancelotti may not have made his decision on the Champions League final yet, but he is clearly willing to give Courtois all the game time he needs to be in the best possible condition to start.

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