In our last match before the international break we took on Eibar at the Bernabeu.
We were hoping to pull out of this string of draws but that just wasn’t to be, I suppose.
Pre-match social media was pretty boring, so I’m going to skip it. And this recap is going to be quick and dirty, which the match was not…
It’s funny (to me at least) because when I do the match recaps, I take a day. And now that I’ve been doing the podcasts on Managing Madrid (which they are too nice for allowing me to do), I find myself over here trying not to contradict myself.
“Did I say the same thing on the podcast? No? Fuck! I’m the worst!”
If you want to hear me talk about this match with Gabe and Kiyan, check it out here.
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Pepe, Raphael Varane, Danilo; Toni Kroos, Isco, Matteo Kovacic; Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale
SD Eibar: Asier Riesgo; Ander Capa, Florian Lejeune, Mauro dos Santos, Antonio Luna; Fran Rico, Gonzalo Escalante, Dani Garcia; Pedro Leon, Sergi Enrich, Ruben Peña
James was supposed to start the match, but he was injured in the warm-up. Instead we got Kovacic, which ended up being a fabulous choice and should continue to be the choice, as far as I’m concerned. Then again, “qualified UEFA license-holding coach” is not in my bio.
From the kickoff, as we often do, we all expected it to be a fairly easy game. And maybe we’re underestimating our opponents, but we’re just not playing to a level I feel like we should.
In the 5th minute, Gareth hit the side-netting. He seemed up for it, thankfully. It was a good start from him.
Unfortunately, in the 6th minute Capa played in a cross that Fran Rico got his head on. I’m not sure who was supposed to pick up Fran Rico on his run but the point is that they didn’t. The ball was past Keylor and the frustration began to kick in.
It was Eibar’s first ever goal against Real Madrid.
The thing is, we were pressuring well, but our attack has no creativity right now. I don’t know what the problem is there, to be honest.
In the 17th minute, Cristiano played a wonderful cross into Gareth who got some major hang time before putting his header into the net.
I have this really bad habit of watching Gareth’s butt whenever he jumps. It’s awful. I know it is. But it’s just… There.
And it’s kind of nice. I mean, the guy works out like he’s CR7, it better be.
In the 19th minute, Peter Lion had a monster shot on goal that was saved brilliantly by Keylor.
Not even 20 minutes in and Ray Hudson was losing his mind about this match.
In the 29th minute, Escalante was booked for tripping ToniLive.
Cris had a shot saved in the 31st minute after Benz couldn’t get a shot on goal. Again we were denied.
In the 45th minute Gareth and Dani both picked up yellow cards. Dani’s was for his tackle on Peña while Gareth’s was for dissent.
There was just one minute of added time before the ref signaled for the end of the half.
To start the second half, Nacho and Morata replaced Varane and Benzema respectively. Both of them had felt knocks during the first half. Benzema isn’t looking himself and I don’t know that he’s been 100% at all since coming back from the original injury.
In the 48th minute, Garcia picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on Kovacic.
Peter Lion again gave us trouble in the 49th minute, but it was straight at Keylor.
Full disclosure, I’m super into Cristiano lately. I swear this man just gets tastier with age.
In the 54th minute, Morata had the ball in the back of the net but it was disallowed because he was offside.
In the 56th minute, Morata was booked for a pretty comical dive.
In the 57th minute, Lejeune was booked for fouling Cris just outside of the box. Of course Cris took the free kick but the strike hit the wall.
In the 60th minute, an absolutely stunning header from Gareth could only hit the post. If that had gone in, it would have been one of the best goals of the season so far.
In the 71st minute, Peña earned himself a yellow card for dissent.
In the 73rd minute, Zizou made the final Real Madrid change. Asensio came in for Isco.
Also in the 73rd minute, ToniLive picked up a yellow when he attempted to perform his Rockettes impression. Okay, maybe not that bad. But it was for a high boot.
Eibar’s first change of the match came in the 76th minute. Kike replaced Enrich.
In the 84th minute, Rico was booked for a late challenge on the excellent Kovacic.
Honestly, Kova is amazing. He’s just so unassuming and then he has all this strength in protecting the ball and holding off tackles, his passing is great, his awareness, his decisiveness. Guys, I’m 100% firmly on the Kovacic bandwagon!
In the 86th minute dos Santos headed the ball back to his own keeper and forced a save out of him. It would have been a horrendous own goal if Riesgo hadn’t been on his toes.
In the 87th minute, Bebe replaced Peña for Eibar. Their next substitution came in the 3rd minute of added time when Adrian replaced Peter Lion.
After 4 added minutes, the ref called it. We dropped more points.
Real Madrid 1 – 1 SD Eibar
“We’ve got a great group to get through this and we’re going to work all together”, added the coach.
Zidane appeared before the media following his side’s clash with Éibar and these were the coach’s thoughts on the match: “I’ve come away frustrated with how we played in the early minutes. In the first half we didn’t play our game, we let our opponents play. The second half was much better but we’re saying that far too much lately. A match lasts 90 minutes and we’re starting games very badly. They scored against us after five minutes from a cross into the box and we already knew they had that threat to hurt teams”.
“I’ll take away the second half performance. We look good physically, we can’t blame it on physical condition. We’re finishing matches really well. Now the players are heading off with their national teams and it’s my responsibility to look for solutions because we’ve got to change things. We can’t carry on like this”.
“Not a crisis. We’re in October and we mustn’t lose our heads. There’s something wrong because we’ve drawn three in a row in the league. When you’ve got the lead after the start we had to the season then it’s tough to take. I’m not going to lose my head but it’s tough. We need to work harder and show more intensity at the beginning of games like we’ve done very often, but we’re struggling to replicate that lately”.
“Anything can happen in a match. We’re not doing enough at the start in order to win the game. If you concede it’s difficult because they are aggressive opponents who sit back and defend. We have to show more intensity from the start, we need to analyse things and the players are keen to do that. Perhaps we have to bring more intensity to the training sessions”.
“We don’t look at all good at the start of matches, then we react. What we need to do isn’t react, but rather start like that in the first place. In the first 45 minutes of the match, just like against Villarreal, we struggled to react. We need to look for ways to improve and we’ll do that after the international break by working hard. I believe in the work and the quality of this team. I don’t think attitude is the problem but something is wrong”.
“I don’t think we’re lacking creativity. James got injured in the warm-up and I put Mateo in alongside Isco and Kroos. What we need is more intensity and aggression in the individual battles and 50-50 balls”.
“I’m not happy, that much is clear. It’s our third mediocre result in the league. It’s a pretty bad result. My situation right now is not so difficult. When I arrived here we lost against Atlético and drew twice away from home. It’s a difficult period but I won’t lose focus, we’ve got a great group to get through this and we’re going to do just that”.
“We’ve got 10 days without the players and when they come back we’ll have to start working at 100%, not only physically but tactically as well. We need to work together, it’s not a case of one or two players, it’s the whole team”.
Benzema and Varane
“Both of them picked up small knocks. Karim felt a twinge in his knee. We’ll have to wait for the scan. Varane took a real blow on the back of his thigh. We hope he’ll be back fit soon and it’s nothing more than a knock”.
“There’s still a long way to go in the league and the victories will come”, said Carvajal.
Keylor Navas explained how the team was feeling following the draw with Éibar: “We’re calm but we know we have to improve. We have to work harder and we’re disappointed, drawing at home is never a good feeling. We’ve let some results get away from us and we can’t keep that up if we want to achieve our goals”.
“We work hard and always go out to play with the best will in the world but the results just aren’t going our way. I hope we turn things around as soon as possible to keep fighting for titles”.
“They come to the ground and want to see us win, just like we do when we take to the pitch. The fans demand a lot of us and we’re all leaving frustrated today”.
Carvajal: “We shouldn’t be pessimistic”
“Looking at the last four games, if we were just a little bit more clinical we would have won them. We’ve been lacking a bit of a spark in the final third. There’s still a long way to go in the league and the victories will come. The team is mentally prepared to turn things around and start picking up all three points when we come back after the international break”.
“It was as if we started out scared to slip up again but we were better in the second half and we put a lot of pressure on their goal, Éibar barely set foot in our half of the pitch. That’s football, we’ve got to turn it around and start thinking about Betis. We shouldn’t be pessimistic; we’re still unbeaten”.
“We’re on a run at the moment where every half-chance our opponents get seems to end up with a goal. We want to change the situation, we’ll correct our mistakes in defence and in the end it’s all about being in first place in May”.
“Casemiro and Modric are very important to us, they’re key players but everyone at Real Madrid is the best in the world and anyone can come in to replace them no problem. Zidane has told us to stay positive, improve on certain things and I’m sure the wins will come”.
Pepe: “Dropping points at home is hard to take”
“We went out to win the game, they worked really hard and we set out well. It’s hard to take dropping points at home. The most important thing is that we worked hard and tried to put things right, but we couldn’t get the three points and we have to change the vibe”.
“I’d like to say to the fans that they stay calm because we are trying to change the situation. There’re a lot of games left to play and we have to always fight. Today has been a strange day, we lost James in the warm up and then the two enforced changes at half time. This was something that we weren’t expecting”.
“We’re upset and hurting because we worked hard in the week so that we could bring some joy to our fans. When you don’t win, something isn’t right and it needs putting right. We’ll take advantage of the break and speak with Zidane and amongst ourselves and improve ahead of the next game. You have to match the intensity of the opposition and not only think that our quality will get us the three points”.
Post-Match Social Media:
It’s international break. Hopefully everyone comes back in one piece!
Our next match is away to Real Betis on 15 October. I feel our winning form coming back!
¡Hala Madrid y Nada Mas!