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Conductor Xabi puts Real back in tune


Conductor Xabi puts Real back in tune

Conductor Xabi puts Real back in tune
J. I. García-Ochoa · Madrid 11/10/2013
News of Xabi Alonso's return must have been music to Carlo Ancelotti's ears. Though still not fully fit, the midfield maestro has single-handedly instilled the balance and solidity the Italian coach has harped on about time and time again this season.
Where Illarra, Khedira and Modric were never quite in tune in their bid to step into Alonso's shoes - starting moves, anchoring the midfield, winning back possession and linking up with the attack - the Basqueman has once again proven himself a stellar conductor. Under his baton, the rest of the midfield orchestra is back on song.
Xabi's presence has freed up Khedira from any playmaking duties, allowing him to cover a lot more ground, pressing the opposition, breaking up play and making runs into the box from deep. His revival was even capped by a good goal against Sociedad. Modric, meanwhile, has greater licence to join in attacks alongside Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema. He mustered two shots on target in the 5-1 victory, an aspect of his game that has been conspicuously absent this season.
In a nutshell, Real is a different beast with Xabi in the team. It concedes fewer chances and bosses proceedings better: the 66% possession 'Los Blancos' recorded in the first half had dropped to 58% by the final whistle, with the former Liverpool man being subbed off midway through the second period.
After the match, Ancelotti expressed his delight with his conductor and the two instrumentalists either side of him, who have established themselves as the Italian's first-choice midfield trio. "It's important for them to get a regular run of games. They each offer something different, though we can also perform well with other combinations", he concluded.
Conductor Xabi puts Real back in tune Reviewed by Wor Media on 3:43 AM Rating: 5
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