Real Madrid - Athletic Club
Matchday 12

Real Madrid - Athletic Club

Real Madrid
Real Madrid
Athletic Club
Athletic Club
  • 30'62' Ronaldo
  • 57' Sergio Ramos (p.)
  • 91' Ronaldo (p.)
  • Llorente 40'

LocationSantiago Bernabéu , Madrid

Image, opportunities, deficiencies… and defeat

Real Madrid 5 Athletic Club 1Athletic Club lost to Real Madrid by 5-1. The local…

Athletic Club

Real Madrid 5 Athletic Club 1

Athletic Club lost to Real Madrid by 5-1. The local goals were scored by Ronaldo -3-, Higuain and Ramos, while Llorente scored our team’s goal. Our game and final score did not go hand in hand in the umpteenth trip without reward and with excessive punishment. During the week, the widespread comment referred to the need to play a perfect match in order to bring home some points from a football field as difficult as Santiago Bernabéu and in the end this was just how it was.

Good strokes, cheek, a desire to go after the match, just the opposite from a team that was expected to have its throat cut at the goal area abattoir, but also small details that turn into big obstacles, like the efforts of the rival goalkeeper at key moments of the match and our shortcomings when it came to defending, deficiencies that are even more obvious against spot on rivals as in this case and a situation which is of concern for us today.

And the tradesman can’t even blame his tools when referring to the referee who is in the lead when it comes to the least favourable statistics as far as our colours are concerned. After the tittle-tattle, Undiano was set for everything. It seems Llorente scored whilst offside, Susaeta was given an anything but doubtful penalty, despite being seemingly forced to do so by Di María and the player who scored three goals perhaps would not have had time to do this if the person in charge had booked him for pretending to fall over, firstly when Iraizoz came forward and later in a foul given to San José. Just like the well-known book, “cosas veredes, amigo Sancho (You’ll see, my friend Sancho – Cervantes)”. One more thing, it has been perfectly demonstrated that two maximum punishments can be whistled, in favour or against, in the same match and absolutely nothing happens.

In the end too much punishment and especially bearing in mind that in the first half the clearest goalscoring opportunities on behalf of either team were evenly distributed, like the skill involved, and in fact it was our team who gave the first warning, specifically in the second minute of play, after a good move by Llorente, who after having beaten two centres, saw how Casillas cushioned the blow so that Pepe could eject the ball from under the posts.

Real Madrid could not keep their game flowing. There were sparks like Ronaldo’s off-mark scissor kick or Di María’s shot at goal that bounced off Martínez and was caught by Iraizoz. Orbaiz, who had made a comeback to starting eleven line up along with Amorebieta, initially on the left wing, and especially from the right flank, was in charge of the attack, Athletic threatened and that’s all. Real Madrid, on the other hand, did not need anything and in the 20th minute Higuain finished off an interior pass down the centre from Di María after having beaten both Amorebieta and San José and the first goal in the bag for Madrid. Too easy and it could have been worse if Ramos’s header had not missed, something which did not happen in the second half.

Without slackening off the pace of the clash, Athletic started by coming up against the ‘small’ detail which is the rival goalie’s performance, until it became, also for the umpteenth time, a big problem: Casillas’ work, who seems to grow in confidence against our team. A volley by Susaeta and a shot at goal by Llorente both came to nothing and, as always, these kinds of details end up by being a prelude to something worse. And that’s just what happened at the 30-minute mark and after a corner kick in favour. As our coach usually calls it the tic, tic, tac that characterizes Real Madrid and in a brilliant counterblow Ronaldo scored the second after receiving a pass from Özil.

After every goal scored against us there are moments of anxiety and during these moments, besides Cristiano’s first nose dive to the ground, Higuain was on the verge of scoring, however, Athletic showed that they were not going to give up and shortened the lead before the break. During the engagements that Athletic has with the goal in each and everyone of its official matches up to date, Llorente, surprise surprise, was the one to receive a pass from Gabilondo that was not caught by Casillas, but repelled, leaving a loose ball which our striker gathered up and finished off thus putting the 2-1 score on the board in the 40th minute. Prior to the interval Susaeta, still recovering from the blow to his right clavicle, kicked a good pass that Llorente was unable to reach as he was expecting a more pumped up ball.

In the second half Aurtenetxe took over from an injured Ustaritz and Amorebieta returned to his position as the left fullback. Athletic Club came onto the pitch with renewed hope and willingness to ratify their good play of the first half, whereas Real Madrid made Di María and Ronaldo change sides and the truth is that their defensive work got better just where the Red-Whites had done the most damage, and the early succession of events verified the efficiency of this change and resulted in the match being sealed all too soon.

Susaeta, a foul, gave Casillas his first fright in minute 53, but the goalkeeper deflected it with his fists, and three minutes later Di María fell over after having deliberately come into contact knee to knee and Ramos converted the penalty into goal. It could be said that the encounter had ended then and there, but the calamities kept on accumulating. Shortly afterwards Muniain, whose left clavicle was injured, had to be replaced by Iñigo Pérez, who became the second forward. Amorebieta was shown a yellow card and the foul that followed was taken by Ronaldo but the ball took on an unexpected effect so that Iraizoz could not react the way he would have liked. Four goals to one.
Real Madrid had gaps galore, they provoked fear in the countermoves and to top it all off Javi Martínez had to resign himself as one of his shots at goal smashed into the crossbar with the goalie being unable to do anything, then the referee gave Amorebieta, rightly so, a penalty that he committed against the newcomer to the field Granero. Ronaldo, after livening up the debate on the time it takes to kick a penalty and the adaptation to the regulations, scored their fifth, 5-1.

In spite it all, too much punishment that must be forgotten as soon as possible. Now it is a question of recovering / maintaining our strength at San Mamés next week in order to try to settle our defensive shortcomings as visitors for our next away game, destination Donostia.