Real Madrid’s Fourth round first-leg matchup with Cultural Leonesa was the perfect chance for Zinedine Zidane to rest some of his biggest stars and continue with his positive practice of introducing youth to the first-team.
Los Blancos roared past the lowly Leonesa with a 7-1 win which was marked by braces from Alvaro Morata and Marco Asensio, who used the occasion to knock on the door of the first-team with compelling Cup performances for Real Madrid.
BBC overpowered by AML
They might not be the biggest names in world football, but their impressive goal tally has exceeded one of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo this season.
Forming a newly emerging AML trident there are Marco Asensio, Alvaro Morata and Lucas Vasquez, three players who have so far shared 13 goals between them compared to 12 by BBC.
Real Madrid’s young guns are making a strong case for themselves with commanding performances which are slowly turning a fair share of attention away from the irreplaceable BBC trident and onto the players who do not enjoy the same popularity as their more prominent teammates.
The three youngsters have justified Zinedine Zidane’s choices on numerous occasions and are slowly shaping the form Real Madrid could take in the future. The Frenchman’s tactical approach has been scrutinised during the current season as the team had their ups and downs, but his insisting on young players from Real Madrid’s academy is slowly bearing fruit.
Academy players are not something Real Madrid have been renowned for over the last two decades and Zinedine Zidane is attempting to change the high-spending approach by introducing players who have a great understanding of what the club stands for and who can go on to become new club legends such as Raul or Iker Cassilas – last of the members of a dying breed at Real Madrid.
Hours before his another impressive performance against Cultural Leonesa Lucas Vasquez was given a huge boost by signing a new deal with Real Madrid.
After Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, who did it earlier this month, the 25-year-old forward agreed on a new contract that will see him remain at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu until 2021. Lucas received a well-deserved reward for his services under Zinedine Zidane, who made the Spanish international an integral part of his success at Real Madrid.
Vasquez has so far featured in 10 matches for Real Madrid, adding a goal to his name in a 5-1 beating of Legia Warszawa in the Champions League and two assists in another buzzing performance in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey triumph.
Real Madrid forward ended the game filling in at right-back proving once again that Zinedine Zidane is right to trust him wholeheartedly to various on pitch duties.
Spanish winger will be hopeful to get an extended run for Real Madrid under Zinedine Zidane and all chances are that Lucas could go on to hold to his place if he continues with strong displays for Los Blancos.
The 24-year-old’s return to Real Madrid was supposed to be a sweet homecoming, but it ended up being a frustrating affair with former Juventus man being sporadically used as a replacement for established first-team choices.
Despite the fact his current situation has followed a familiar pattern of strikers who never quite made it at Los Blancos, Alvaro Morata refused to give up as he was promised a more prominent role under the French boss.
Morata used every chance he could get to display his full repertoire.
Wednesday’s Copa del Rey display was no different as Real Madrid striker showcased tight footwork and incredible hold-up play in attack. His attacks down the flanks and goal awareness made him a lethal threat in front of goal.
Spanish international ended the game by scoring the brace, but he was unlucky to nail a hat-trick as one of his shots shaved the far post in the second half.
Four goals in his last three games across all competitions for Real Madrid are a clear indication of Morata’s talents and must be taken as a huge message for Zinedine Zidane, who will be facing a tough choice up front.
His hat-trick of goals in three different competitions for Real Madrid will have improved his position in the team to earn him a well-deserved spot in the starting line-up in the future.
The 20-year-old Spanish midfielder has perhaps been the most impressive of all other members of the newly formed AML trio.
A summer first-team addition has hit the ground running for Real Madrid, impressing in every competition he got a chance to play so far. Los Blancos youngster has emerged as a serious competition for Cristino Ronaldo’s left-side place in the team thanks to a string of impressive performances.
Thanks to a goal against Cultural Leonesa, Marco Asensio has now completed quite a remarkable quadruple. Namely, the Real Madrid youngster has scored a goal in every debut game, finding the back of the net in his Super Cup, Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey bows for Los Blancos.
Five goals in total have been a great recommendation to Zinedine Zidane, who holds the youngster in high regard just as he should.
The three players have played a great part in helping Real Madrid recover from their four-match winless run and stalemates against Villarreal, Las Palmas, Dortmund and Eibar respectively. Los Blancos returned to winning ways in style with 20 goals in just four matches and there is no doubt they will be looking to put in another strong performance at Alaves on Saturday.
Los Blancos are given the 8/13 betting odds to claim all three points with a HT/FT win at Mendizorroza.
Surely the AML trident should be given another shot?