Real Madrid drew their Copa Del Ray match against CD Olimpic Xativa 0-0. It was the first of the two legs of the tie. Now all Real Madrid have to do is to beat a tier 3 team at Bernabeu in the return leg.
First things first, Real Madrid looked ordinary without Ronaldo and Bale. Hardly any clear cut chances against such a weak team should be a cause of concern for Ancelotti.
Ancelotti was boasting about how his team has managed to keep 3 clean sheets in 4 matches but I think he is missing the finer point here. Real Madrid have not really played any tough teams in these 4 matches. So one should keep this in mind when interpreting this statistic.
Isco was probably the man of the match for Real Madrid even though the game did not witness a winner. He was far more productive than anything the two teams put out on the field tonight. His touches were deft and clean. He did make some chances upfront but when you have a misfiring Benzema and Morata upfront along with Jese then you can bet that your one key pass is not going to result in a goal.
Perhaps the artificial turf at CD Olimpic Xativa’s home ground did not allow Real Madrid to assert their usual game. It’s not always easy to play on that stuff since the dynamics of the ball and the techniques involved in running and dribbling with and without the ball change quite a lot (or should chance quite a lot).
In a match with no goals, the highlight of the match was perhaps the substitution of Di Maria. Angel Di Maria should an aggressive reaction towards Ancelotti when he has subbed at 59 minute mark. Ancelotti later said that Di Maria will be staying at the club and there was nothing to make of that incident.
Angel Di Maria is a fantastic player and I don’t know what pissed him off so bad. The game itself was not a significant one. It was the first leg. Maybe Ancelotti was trying to have something different or may be he wanted Di Maria to rest a bit. There was no need to get upset over the substitution in a match of this magnitude.
Had be been brought off, say like, against Barcelona or against Bayern Munich in Champions League then a case could be made of Di Maria being, rightly, upset with Ancelotti.
In any case, without Ronaldo Real Madrid look a great side as opposed to being a top 2 side with Ronaldo. Without Ronaldo AND Bale, Real Madrid look a pretty ordinary side if he compare it to other top sides of Europe. That should be a cause of concern.
Benzema again has just shut off. In one game he looks like the old Benzema. He looks like he does want to play like the legendary Brazillian Ronaldo as a striker as he himself has admitted that he wants to. It seems like Zidane is coaching him pretty well and Zizou’s tips are taking immediate effect on his countrymen Benzema. Until the next game comes where Benzema plays the absolute worst game he can possibly play. Don’t know what’s going on with him. The solution for him is only one. As I have written before, he needs to bring his fitness levels up with the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Ribery and may be even Di Maria. Benzema needs to be lighter and needs to be more agile with his position and his first touch.
Right now it just seems if he is being physically restricted in some way. He has not been able to express himself the way he would like to express himself. I see a Suarez deal involving Benzema in January or next summer. I also think that this is the last season Di Maria will be donning the famous white shirt of Real Madrid.