This Real Madrid side have so many strengths

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Real Madrid demonstrated at Celtic Park that their players are more than just fit in this first stretch of the 2022/23 campaign.

Los Blancos have been hailed at the start of the season, in which they have annihilated their opponents in the second half with a physical display and a speed that no one can stop. This is a fact.

But you can't just win by being fresher than your opponent. Talent has to prevail as well. That's how Real Madrid won the last Champions League. By bursts at the end, but also by knowing how to play with restraint and patience, with effective minutes on the ball. You only have to remember the first half at Stamford Bridge, for example.

In Glasgow, Real Madrid opened the scoring with a goal that was preceded by a beautiful move, in which up to 22 passes were exchanged and which ended with a beautiful one-two between Valverde and Eden Hazard, including a backheel, and a precise pass from the Uruguayan midfielder to Vinicius Junior, who scored in clinical fashion. But, if the first goal was a collective move of many carats, the third was a work of art.

Up to 33 passes were exchanged by Carlo Ancelotti's men without the opposition getting a sniff of the ball, combining from almost in the opposition box to the back, starting again, playing from one flank to the other until Toni Kroos went forward and Dani Carvajal served it on a plate for Hazard. A sequence that is the longest for Los Blancos in the Champions League since at least 2003/04, according to Opta.

Right turn

They were two goals that demonstrate the technical prowess of the European champions, both of which came down the right flank, a flank they exploited more than ever at Celtic Park.

This was probably no coincidence. Benzema's weight at Real Madrid is so great that his early absence from the game turned Madrid's play on its head. Karim has a tendency to drop off down the left flank, linking up with Vinicius.

Without the Frenchman and with Vini more discreet than usual, the game began to lean towards the right.

It was no surprise therefore that 45 percent of attacks came from the right flank, with 35 percent coming from the left.

To put it in context, this is the first game since LaLiga Santander kicked off in which Real Madrid had more attacking presence on the right wing than on the left.

Against Almeria, 53 percent of their attack came from the left flank and 22 percent from the right. And against Real Betis it was again overwhelming (50 percent vs 23 percent).

Last season, Real Madrid ended up producing 43 percent of their attacks from the left flank compared to 33 percent from the right. Curiously, without Benzema the difference wasn't that big.

For example, in the Clasico at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, where the Frenchman was absent, Ancelotti's side split their attacks down both flanks almost equally: 37 percent vs 38 percent.

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