Real Madrid maintained their 100% record in LaLiga 2023–24 after a narrow 1-0 win against Celta Vigo in their third match of the season. Carlo Ancelotti and his men are on a great run in the league. He has a side filled with some of the best young talents in the world.
The Italian manager lost his biggest player in the attack after Karim Benzema decided to move to Saudi Arabia. Everyone thought that Madrid would buy a replacement, and Kylian Mbappe was the favourite to replace him. PSG’s demands were high, and Real Madrid had already invested heavily in Jude Bellingham. Now, they are without a so-called ‘world-class’ striker. Still, they are managing to win games. Let’s take a look at how Carlo Ancelotti’s tactical changes have led to a smooth start.
Change in the shape of the team
Real Madrid used to play in a 4-3-3 formation until last season. Karim Benzema was leading the line and was supported by Vinicius Junior, along with Rodrygo or Valverde on the other flank.
This season, with Jude Bellingham on the team, the manager has shifted to a front two. His team lined up in a 4-3-1-2 formation for their first league game. Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo spearhead the attack, and Bellingham plays behind them in the 10′ role.
The second match also saw the same tactics until the 72nd minute. It can be observed that Ancelotti has either gone with two players in the attack or just one. He is not using the 4-3-3 formation from last season.
Ball progression and creative areas
Real Madrid have a lot of runners in their team. Ancelotti has opted to play his youngsters and the senior players have been used as a sub. By looking at the above viz we can observe that Real Madrid have created most of the attacking plays from the left side. Fran Garcia has been a good addition as the left full-back likes to run down the wing on the left side.
The ball progression shown above clearly suggests the preferred side of attack. However, Real Madrid also created some of the plays from the opposite side. Dani Carvajal is an experienced campaigner and likes to run with the ball. He has the speed and skill to carry the ball in dangerous areas.
The end product
With five goals in the first two games and one in their third game, Real Madrid are on a decent run in front of goal. The Los Blancos averaged 19 shots per match in the first two outings and have a 42% accuracy rate. Despite hitting the target on a few occasions, one thing that will hurt the Italian manager is the chances that his team has missed from inside the opposition penalty box.
Real Madrid had a high average xG of 2.39 in the first two matches. Their conversion rate is what Ancelotti will hope to improve in the upcoming games.
Bellingham on the rise
Jude Bellingham is probably the best young midfielder currently in football. He has scored four goals in his first three games in LaLiga 2023-24. The Englishman is the biggest reason behind this early-season success.
Bellingham took eight shots in the first two games and managed to hit the target five times. He also created a goal in the second match.
Carlo Ancelotti and his men are on a good run. These youngsters have adapted quickly to the tactics. The manager had recently announced that there would be no more signings this summer. However, Vinicius Junior left the pitch early against Celta Vigo. If he gets injured, then Carlo might need a replacement in the remaining days of the transfer window.
Visuals via Wyscout and the TFA data viz engine