How well did we handle a team that has nothing to lose and have been playing exceptionally well over the past month or so?
Sort of like we handle everything. With lethargy, of course.
Las Palmas: Javi Varas; David Garcia, Mauricio Lemos, Pedro Bigas, Javier Garrido; Momo, Angel Montoro; Nili, Jonathan Viera, Roque Mesa; Willian Jose
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa; Luka Modric, Casemiro, Isco; Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lucas Vazquez
Arbeloa got a rare start and I was super excited to see Vasquez get the start as well.
I watched the match with my friend, JV, who is originally from Malaga. Much like FABOD I’m working on turning him into a Real Madrid fan. He loves Vazquez as well, but I’m relatively certain it has to do with the last name.
Prior to the start of the match, Valeron was recognized for playing his 400th match in the Primera. He’s 40 years old and well-loved by the Las Palmas fans and fans in general.
The first chance of the match was in the 10th minute and it was from Las Palmas. JV and I were commenting about how good Keylor is at coming out and cutting down angles.
After a relatively poor shot from Crispy in the 11th minute that drew an easy save from Varas, Las Palmas had another chance in the 12th minute. But Momo’s shot was high.
In the 16th minute, Casemiro picked up a yellow card.
A shot from Sir Tans-A-Lot resulted in Varas pushing the ball out for a corner in the 24th minute. Isco delivered that corner and Mr. 92:48 put a beautiful header into the back of the net.
In the 29th minute Cris was SO close to giving us a second but unfortunately it was just (and I do mean JUST) wide.
Las Palmas were playing really well, and they have been recently. But I was unhappy with how we were playing and the amount of possession that we were gifting them. We were simply making it too easy for them to have chances.
In the 38th minute, Montoro was booked for going in late on Casemiro.
Just before the end of the half, The Pony had a shot on goal that was blocked despite some quite poor defending by Las Palmas.
That was it for the half. Las Palmas 0-1 Real Madrid
Las Palmas made a change at the half, bringing in Dani Castellano to replace Garrido.
In the 54th minute, Montoro and Ronaldo went up for a header and clashed heads. It was a bit worrying as they both stayed on the deck but they were both okay. Did everyone else breathe a sigh of relief?
Isco was booked in the 55th minute when he went in hard on Bigas. Somewhere in that mess of a clash, Lemos had a go at Ramos and ended up with a yellow for it. And it was basically on after that. Things just got a little nasty out of nowhere.
In the 60th minute, Bigas picked up a yellow card for a bad challenge on Dani.
In the 61st minute Kovacic came in for a very unhappy Isco. He was absolutely infuriated with the substitution.
In the same minute Pepe was booked for pulling down Willian Jose. It was a good foul, if I’m being honest. A smart foul. Though, I have to say that would have been a red if Sergio hadn’t been back.
Navas got down well to save a deflection off Arbeloa on the free kick.
Las Palmas had a couple of very good chances that again, we have Keylor Navas in to save. He just comes out so well! His positioning, his quickness… Guys, I love him so much.
Bale came close in the 71st minute but just no luck for him today.
El Zhar came in for Nili in the 73rd minute for Las Palmas.
In the 74th minute… Honestly, WTF mate? The ref decided that Arbeloa had passed back to Navas and awarded Las Palmas an indirect free kick inside the box. And boy was Navas heated about it.
Then, the ref booked Viera for delaying after causing both Carvajal and Modric to encroach. There was just a whole mess of confusion. And it never should have been ruled a pass back in the first place, but we do have the benefit of replay and slow motion.
When the kick was finally taken, Navas was out with the quickness AGAIN to make the save.
In the 80th minute, Jese replaced Bale.
In the 85th minute, Araujo replaced Dani Garcia for Las Palmas.
In the 87th minute, Willian Jose chipped Navas quite beautifully if I’m honest. Our defense is a mess. Ramos had a bit of a crap match and he has been, honestly. Not sure where Arbeloa was on the goal but pretty much the entire defense looked like they decided to walk.
But we got lead back on another header. Casemiro got up to get his head to a corner. We just like to leave it late, don’t we? They’re trying to kill us.
All hail Casemiro’s first Real Madrid goal!!!
Marcelo came in for Modric during the first minute of added time and shortly after, Ramos picked up a red card (And didn’t leave the side of the pitch). But luckily, the match ended quickly after his booking and we picked up the win.
Las Palmas 1 – 2 Real Madrid
“If we want anything from what’s coming up we have got to play better”, said the madridista coach.
Zinedine Zidane spoke to the media in the press room at the Estadio de Gran Canaria and analysed the Real Madrid victory: “The most important thing is we got three points and we’ll have to see what happens. We lost a very high number of balls”.
“I don’t think it was unfair. We won the game with two set pieces and that’s part of football. Las Palmas played very well. They made it difficult for us with players who control the ball well. What bothers me is our performance”.
Things to come
“If we want anything from what’s coming up we have got to play better, that’s for sure. Like this we’ll get nowhere. Playing like in the second half, no. That’s all I can say at the moment. I want to see it and I’m convinced that we can play another way”.
“We’re not thinking about the Champions League. The players were thinking about what they had to do today. I’ve always said that it doesn’t worry me when we’ve got the ball, but today I was worried.
Arbeloa and Nacho
“Álvaro is a Real Madrid player and he has played very well. I’m counting on everyone. He was the only player who’d not had minutes with us and today he played well. He played and that’s it. I don’t speak about whether he should play ahead of Nacho”.
“We work on set pieces quite a bit and we’re making the most of them”, said Carvajal.
Keylor Navas put in a great performance against Las Palmas. The keeper gave his thoughts on the game: “We’re aware that we didn’t have our best second half. We know that playing like that it will be difficult to win games, we got away with it today put we have to improve a lot more”.
“I never consider myself the best and the only thing I try to do is to do my job, same as my teammates. The important thing is that we won in the end. To be able to win titles we have to be able to play other ways, we can’t do like we did in the second half because it could cost us games”.
The oppositions chances
“There were moments when we weren’t concentrating and we gave the other team chances. They’re mistake that we make and the other teams try to create chances from”.
“That game is a long way off. We’ve got Sevilla first, that’s an important game and we have to focus on that”.
Carvajal: “We got the victory thanks to the set pieces”
“It was difficult game, but we knew it would be a difficult place to come, where many teams have found it difficult to pick up points. We were able to go in front twice and the positive is we took three points and we will continue”.
“With Zidane we work on set pieces quite a bit. We’ve got a lot of tall players who’re good in the air and we’re making the most of that. They are details that can win many points and thanks to that we’ve got the victory today”
“We’ve had phases where we have dominated and other where we haven’t. Defensively the team has taken a step forward. We were close together, Las Palmas had the ball in the centre of the park but without causing problems and we’re continuing to grow for the Champions League”.
“Their best chance was a mistake of ours and an indirect free kick. The rest were shots that weren’t dangerous and wide of goal. The opposition also play and they are strong in attack and that’s the thing we can improve on going forward”.
Depth of the squad
“The coach has a lot of option in the centre of midfield and in every position. We’re trying to be more compact each game and in some phases we have managed, preventing the opposition from creating danger during long spells”.
Objective, the Champions League
“We have to strengthen in La Liga to get a good rhythm to take in to the Champions League. Bit by bit, with the clear ideas of the coach, we’re trying to be at our best level and look to win the Champions League”.
Arbeloa: “It’s natural to suffer to win away from home”
“I’m pleased to be back playing after such a long time, it’s what every footballer wants, and to win makes it even better. We suffered, they made it difficult for us. Las Palmas are good at home and they’re a very tough opponent. They beat Getafe not long ago, and Barcelona struggled here. They tried really hard and they’re a great team. If they keep playing like this I’m sure they’ll be safe”.
Wins away from home
“It’s natural to suffer to win away from home. We all want to keep improving in La Liga and we’re pleased that we’re picking up points with the way we’re playing”.
Support in Las Palmas
“I’ve been at Real Madrid for seven years and I’m not sure I’ve seen anything quite like it. I want to thank the fans for their affection and how they received us. I hope they remain in the La Liga for years to come”.
Post-Match Social Media:
Sergio is all about those signed jerseys lately.
And just because I can’t stand the absolute cuteness of Salome here:
I do have to wonder if perhaps Sergio intentionally picked up the suspension. He’ll serve it against Sevilla instead of having the potential to pick up a suspension for the Clasico. I don’t know, just speculating.
I’m glad that Zidane is acknowledging that the second half was worrying. I feel like it’s something that Benitez would have denied.
Well, this is it until the end of April. I won’t be around and I can’t believe I’m missing the quarter finals and the Clasico. *sigh*
¡Hala Madrid y Nada Mas!