Real Madrid have won their third trophy of the season after a 2-1 victory over Osasuna in the Copa Del Rey final Saturday in Seville. A Rodrygo brace was just enough to stave off Osasuna who got their solo goal from former Real Madrid player Lucas Torro. While Carlo Ancelotti saw David Alaba, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric return from injury to make the squad for the match, he also ended up needing to play his starters longer than expected prior to their critical Champions League match against Manchester City on Tuesday.
When Rodrygo scored only two minutes into the match, it seemed like Real Madrid were en route to putting the game away early but Osasuna were able to adjust and cause frustration for Los Blancos. Ultimately though, they couldn't stop the Brazilian duo of Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo. Karim Benzema was isolated in the middle but when the ball got to the flanks, Vini Jr. was direct and decisive, using his passing to make things happen.
Assisting Rodrygo on the opener and creating the chance that led to the second goal, Vini Jr. reminded everyone that he's a star in his own right while Rodrygo displayed his awareness of space to finish chances. With how many stars are in the squad, it can be easy to forget what Rodrygo can do but if they do so in Champions League, it would be a critical mistake for Manchester City on Tuesday.
Rodrygo has 16 goals and 11 assists in all competitions and at 22 he has become an attacker that Ancelotti can rely on. In past seasons, Rodrygo has run hot and cold, but with Benzema missing time with injuries it has given him an opportunity to grow into his own while taking chances in the attack.
It's an opportunity that could pay off as while Real Madrid have won this trophy, the Champions League title is the one that they really want. With Eder Miitao suspended for the first leg, Los Blancos will need to score as many goals as possible. Given how good City's central defenders are, they can take a page out of Osasuna's book to turn Benzema into more of a facilitator than a goal scorer providing an opportunity to the Brazilians on the wing.
If Rodrygo and Vini Jr. are able to get in behind the defense in a similar fashion, Ederson has struggled when faced with shots on target and they could keep City on their toes. Real Madrid may need to put them in an ice bath with both basically playing 90 minutes in the match but if they can recover and be at the same level to have a chance on Tuesday Madrid could be a handful for City.
Both have been challenged at times during the season, both by Ancelotti and by opposing players, but they've risen to meet and surpass challenges in their way. The Manchester City machine will be their toughest test yet but Saturday has to give Real Madrid hope for the first leg.