Real Madrid were looking to put the Clasico, and some may say Shakhtar disappointment firmly behind them at the Ipurua Stadium against 7th place Eibar on Sunday. Eibar had lost only two games prior to this; against Barcelona and Atletico, so it wasn’t going to be an easy game by any stretch.
BALE BACK ON THE SCORESHEET
Back in August, Bale had been playing his best piece of football for us since he left Bartra for dead back in May 2014. This season Benitez began playing Bale in the type of free role AVB gave to him in his last season a spurs player. It proved to be a success as he notched up two goals in the home game against betis before having a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
However today, he displayed that sort of eagerness to not only score the opening goal via a header from a corner but also with his passing and quick movement which cannot be said about his strike partner. Glad to have him back.
RONALDO MISSING AGAIN
There’s something wrong with the greatest goalscorer in the history of Madrid. He’s the top goalscorer in the champions league this season, has 15goals in all competitions, but he is nowhere near his best and that’s putting it mildly. In the Clasico, it’s fair to say he was our best player on the pitch, having 3good shots on target and leaving Jordi Alba back-faced to the ground; that was more to say than the previous games combined.
Today yet again, Ronaldo just didn’t seem to have the conviction albeit his penalty to bury the two clear chances that came his way. And it could have easily cost us. His confidence is not there and that’s saying something for someone that has exuded nothing but Leadership and Responsibility in his six and half years at Madrid. This in no way means he’s not working hard, but Rafa and CR7 need to find a way to get him firing again.
RAFA IS FOOLING NO ONE…LEAST OF ALL JAMES.
If it wan’t already clear, James and Benitez are not the best of friends. it started when he kept him on the bench in the 0-0 draw at sporting gijon and then with James vocally claiming “he’s fit but maybe not to others” after he’s comeback from injury during Colombia’s international break.
Benitez brought him on too late in the hapless 3-2 defeat to Sevilla; that second goal was scored by James.
Then he dropped him against Shakhtar and played him today against Eibar where he was ineffective for the 60 odd minutes for which he played. But Benitez played him on the wing, where he is not comfortable in anyway as was the previous times Ancelotti had tried it.
Benitez will walk into his next press conference having justified “playing James” but we all know he’s fooling no one.
It’s a no-brainer we conceded four against Barca, we needed him desperately in the clasico but Rafa left him out of the XI entirely and we duly got punished. As it stands any midfield we use without Casemiro is completely void of balance. Against Eibar Madrid were lacking a ball winner and they came at us with counter-attacks and high pressing, something Casemiro could have avoided.
Kroos is full of qualities every centre midfielder should have, but he’s performances this season have been well below-par. Kovacic and Modric were excellent today, especially the former; but we need Casemiro in that midfield to acquire authority in midfield.
We’ve conceded seven goals in the last two games before this, but today Pepe and Nacho showed we can have more faith at least until Ramos and Varane return from their respective injuries. But another problem persists…Danilo.
At right back he’s mediocre at best while he is not a Left back in any way. Before the summer window closed, we let go off our only other option at Left back which was the right decision, but then Rafa said “Danilo, Arbeloa or Nacho” is Madrid’s replacement incase anything were to happen to Marcelo.
Well something has happened and Madrid doesn’t look good at the left hand of the defence at the moment.
It wasn’t a good match by a long stretch, but the three points were very important to us since we’re already playing catch-up. Bale is looking good and Pepe seems to be getting back to his best along with Nacho.
Benzema didn’t start this one as well with his off-field issues probably playing on his mind.
Another down side today was Carvajal’s injury right at the end of the game. We really can’t afford another injury in defence. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious.
Until next time….HALAMADRID!!