Real Madrid’s manager has changed and so has their luck. Their play is another matter, but they have at last won in the league – six matches later. Santiago Solari, the interim manager who replaced Julen Lopetegui and has 10 days left in the job before Madrid must make a permanent appointment, took up his place on the touchline at the Santiago Bernabéu, from where he spent much of the afternoon listening to whistles and watching his team get overrun. In the end, though, he did watch them win.
Real Valladolid smashed two shots against the bar, wasted two wonderful chances and drew a superb save from Thibault Courtois. But then, with seven minutes to go, they scored an own goal and four minutes after that they conceded a penalty, which the club captain, Sergio Ramos, scored. Madrid had found a way through, somehow. And the player who had led them there was Vinícius Júnior – the kid who has played a more central role in the downfall of Julen Lopetegui than even he realises.