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Real Madrid taken down by Florian Lejeune and Joselu in dramatic Bernabeu night

5 months ago

Florian Lejeune travelled away to Real Madrid on Saturday night.

The on loan Newcastle United centre-back making his ninth La Liga start of the season for Alaves after his season-long move was agreed back in September.

Steve Bruce making it clear last season that he wasn’t keen on having centre-backs who could also play a bit, all but totally sidelining both the Frenchman and Fabian Schar from his Premier League side.

With Florian Lejeune, Newcastle fans never saw him on the pitch again in the Premier League last season after what was arguably his finest 60 seconds in a black and white shirt.

The 21 January 2020 saw him come off the bench at Goodison Park, a woeful team performance and negative tactics from Steve Bruce seeing Newcastle absolutely battered by Everton who should have been four or five ahead, instead in a space of a minute in added time after the 90, Florian Lejeune hilariously scored twice and NUFC somehow emerged with a point.

Florian Lejeune has been getting rave reviews from Spanish media and two matches ago he was rated the top Alaves defender as he helped keep Lionel Messi quiet, in a 1-1 draw with Barcelona.

Up against Barca’s big rivals, Lejeune put in another superb performance.

he put in another quality performance on Saturday.

Up against the likes of Hazard, Kroos, Modric, Casemiro and Asensio, Florian Lejeune was once again Alaves’ top defender.

The on loan Newcastle defender helping to restrict Real Madrid to only the one late consolation goal in the 86th minute as Alaves picked up a famous win.

Perez having put Alaves one up with a penalty after only five minutes, whilst a cool 25 yard left foot finish from Joselu (watch below) in the 49th minute proved the match winner, after the Real Madrid keeper had gifted possession.

Goalkeeper Pacheco was man of the match for Alaves, Lejeune rated top defender, whilst Joselu just missed out on man of the match.

Last season Alaves were terrible in defence, conceded 59 in 38 games, the third worst in La Liga, this season they have conceded only 13 goals in 11 games so far. The last four starts for Florian Lejeune seeing two wins and two defeats, including this win away at Real Madrid and the draw with Barca, only four goals conceded in those last four appearances.

Joselu now has 13 goals in 40 La Liga starts (plus 6 sub appearances) since leaving Newcastle.

WhoScored produce automated ratings for all players in every match in the major European leagues.

These were the ratings from the latest Florian Lejeune win over Real Madrid:

As you can see in the brief highlights below, Alaves could have actually beaten Real Madrid by more, as they had chances for a bigger win.

However, they were indebted to Florian Lejeune for a brilliant headed goal-line clearance (at 0.58) below, whilst Joselu’s winner is at 0.41 (Click on play symbol below and then click watch on youtube to see the goals and match action).

Interesting to see what happens with Florian Lejeune next summer when he will have one year left of his Newcastle contract.

Steve Bruce preferring the no nonsense defending from the likes of Lascelles and Fernandez, rather than wanting to incorporate the likes of ball playing defenders such as Schar and / or Lejeune in a back four or five.

The seventh lowest total of goals conceded in both 2017/18 and 2018/19, last season under Bruce it became the seventh highest number of goals conceded in the PL for Newcastle, 58 in 38, with little sign of improvement this time, having conceded 15 in ten PL matches despite Karl Darlow making more saves than any other top tier keeper.


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