Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior skipped past one lazy challenge before ultimately being clattered by the very man he spent the entire game spinning inside and out.
Monchu had lost his head, the crowd who had been jeering him through the first half had fallen silent.
Despite having what could be seen as an off-game by his standards, Vinicius Jr had done it again – another backline rattled by his trickery and pace. Throughout the opening half, Vini probed but often came up short against Granada.
Through the first 45, Vini had just two take-on attempts, a telling story of his first half.
It was clear that Roberto Moreno was all too aware of the threat posed by the Brazilian, limiting space and options where he was concerned.
Come the second half, a completely different player came out of the tunnel. That terrorising zip and those crafty jinking movements were back in full-flow, Vini began to dance and Granada couldn’t keep up with his beat.
It has become a common theme throughout this season; the Brazilian has twisted and tormented opposing players both within LaLiga and on the continent. Vinicius has shown this season whatever the situation, he can and will create – whether it be scoring or assisting, he is quickly becoming a central protagonist within Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
Vinicius Junior is the focal point Real Madrid were missing
For the most part since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Real lacked a character that was the focal point, a player who terrified the opposition and could be a target for opposing supporters. For all the brilliance of Benzema, the Frenchman universally loved and respected for his more silent and respectful demeanour.
Vinicius is the perfect character the counteract that, he thrives in the chaos he creates, he’s comfortable with the attention he is garnering. The Brazilian is willing to stand up and wave the flag for the club, whether it be at the Mestalla or Camp Nou.
The Clàsico is the perfect example of the mentality monster that Vini has become. In enemy territory, in the face of abuse, booing and jeering, he proved throughout to be a thorn in Barcelona’s side.
The Brazilian destroyed Barca’s right-hand side, so much so that Ronald Koeman withdrew Oscar Mingueza as a result. He may not have registered a goal or an assist, but it was clear throughout his time on the pitch, Vinicius was at the centre of Real’s attacks – a constant outlet.
Once again, against Granada, Vinicius stepped up when Real needed him most. Los Blancos were seemingly unsettled by the hosts, struggling to create and break through their stubborn backline. As the whistle for the second half blew, we saw a different player.
Vinicius Junior is inevitable
He played a part in a move which he finished off, within ten minutes of that, he had forced Monchu to desperately lunge at him after the Brazilian left him in his wake. He knew, we all did. Vini lay on the turf, a smile on his face – he had won the battle and made his contribution toward winning the war.
Monchu sat looking on hopelessly at the home fans, the feeling was mutual. They had collectively tried to put the 21-year-old off his game, by the end of his stint on the field, Granada were down to ten, Vini had his goal and Real were firmly in control.
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Roberto Moreno’s side were just the latest in a growing collection that have come to realise, Vinicius has evolved. No matter how many times you try to swipe at his legs or abuse him from the stands – he will pull something special out of the bag. Vinicius is inevitable.