Real Madrid Worst Performance during Season

Madrid, The 3-0 scoreline doesn’t begin to

reflect everything that happened in Ipurua when Eibar hosted Real

Madrid.

Eibar deserved an even larger margin of victory against the

worst Real Madrid side seen yet this season.

Thibaut Courtois was the best of the visiting players, who

managed just one real chance, and the Belgian made three important

saves.

The talk afterwards among the 300 or so Real Madrid

supporters who made the trip to Eibar was whether the defeat was

worse or not than the one at the Camp Nou, where it seemed Los

Blancos had hit rock bottom and which resulted in Julen Lopetegui

being replaced by Santiago Solari.

However, the Argentine has been brought back down to earth

after four straight wins thanks to an outstanding performance from

Jose Luis Mendilibar’s men.

They were lacking in many departments, with five of their

issues discussed here.

The attitude is usually a recurring theme when it comes to Real

Madrid defeats, but yesterday that word came out of the dressing room

and not just from the journalists.

Sergio Ramos, the man in charge of offering explanations after the

game, was forceful and critical of his team.

“We didn’t match the opposition in intensity and attitude, it was a bad

performance,” he explained.

“We must self-criticise, look inward and congratulate Eibar because we

were not at their level.

“When you don’t have an attitude and the difference with the opponent

is so big, then you lose.

“If you lack desire and intensity then you will lose.”

Ramos critiqued the attitude of his teammates, but the football

was also an issue.

Solari opted for Dani Ceballos to replace the injured Casemiro

and, this time, his decision was the wrong one.

A mistake from the midfielder at a Real Madrid corner resulted in

an Eibar goal, with the hosts mounting the perfect counter attack to go

1-0 in front.

“We have to improve in these areas,” Solari noted.

“In one transition, they punished us from a corner in our favour.”

Apart from the specific failure of Ceballos in that instance, it wasn’t

the only thing that went wrong.

Real Madrid went to Ipurua with a clear plan that didn’t work.

Solari, aware of the high pressure on a small field that would

come, tried a direct game that ensured the ball bypassed the feet of

Toni Kroos and Luka Modric on several occasions.

Ramos and Raphael Varane often looked to find Karim Benzema

and Gareth Bale directly with long balls, but it was a misguided

strategy.

Benzema did what he could with such service, but was also caught

offside on seven occasions.

Alvaro Odriozola started ahead of Dani Carvajal, who is just back

from injury, and he had a nightmare afternoon.

He was charged with dealing with the overlapping Marc Cucurella,

the best of the bunch for Eibar, but failed miserably, although he didn’t

receive any help during the game.

Bale stuck to his role as a forward and didn’t look to track back to

help his teammate deal with the issues on the wing.

That resulted in Cucurella having the freedom of that flank and he

made the most of it by causing endless problems for Los Blancos.

Mendilibar noted what was happening and instructed his team to

exploit it by neglecting Marcelo’s wing, often a source of attack for

other teams, to focus on Odriozola.

There was no intensity, no football played and there was no leadership

either.

None of the star men for Real Madrid appeared and stepped up to

the mark against Eibar.

Bale was only seen when he hit the back of the net for a goal that

was ruled out and his presence in the team week after week is now

perhaps unjustified.

He has been called on to lead a Real Madrid side without Cristiano

Ronaldo and, this season, he has clearly had a subpar time of it.

Marco Asensio is also still not his usual self.

Among other things, it is because he plays in a position that does

not benefit him or get the best out of his ability.

The Mallorcan assured that where he feels most comfortable is

on the right or through the centre, but Solari insists on persisting with

him on the left.

In that role, he tiptoed around his task and contributed little.

Neither did Kroos or Modric, who couldn’t provide the solutions.

Although Solari tried to see the glass as being half full, saying

that he had seen positive things from the side during his first four

games in charge, the reality is that Eibar capitalised on the new

coach’s decisions and punished them.

This time, Real Madrid’s luck with the woodwork wasn’t enough

(five opposition clubs have hit the post or bar at 0-0 in the Solari era in

five games) and they fell 3-0 to Eibar who are now just two points

behind Real Madrid after 13 games.

It is the worst start for the club since 2005/06 (when they also

had five defeats at this point). Yesterday, they were beaten with seven

of the eight Ballon d’Or candidates making up the starting line-up.

“This is the squad there is,” said Ramos, speaking for a club who seem

to paying the price for a poor summer.

Ronaldo is no longer there, none of the signings have shone,

those in charge of leading the way no longer appear and Isco, one of

the best under Lopetegui, has been anonymous under Solari, the

Spanish MARCA newspaper reported.

Source: Oman News Agency