Real Madrid drew for the third time in the season while playing away at Almeria as the game finished 1-1. The previous draws also came while playing away from home where we drew against Levante and Real Mallorca. The game against Levante was the last in the first round of games as the season is currently at 19 games for each team. Is this draw an indication that the domestic competition is over and title is for Barcelona for the taking?

First up, key moments in the game

The first half was the dullest in some of the recent games we’ve been involved in. There were barely any chances for either sides and the credit for that goes to Almeria who were solid in their defence and didn’t park the bus as you would expect from a side who were languishing at the bottom of the table.

The one mentionable chance fell to Ronaldo. Kaka supplied an inch perfect cross for the Portuguese to strike and he did just that but Almeria’s keeper Diego Alves was equal to it and saved with his feet. The ball then fell to Sami Khedira who scuffed the effort as the chance went begging.

At the interval, it was Almeria 0-0 Real Madrid.

60 minutes – At the stroke of the hour mark, Almeria took the lead against the run of play. Piatti ran into the box but was brought down as the ball fell to Ulloa who made no mistake in shooting it past Casillas in the corner of the net. Almeria 1-0 Real Madrid.

78 minutes – With nerves running high and building up, Real managed to equalise and raised hopes of getting 3 points from the game. Benzema who had come on as a substitute for Kaka in the 55th minute, held up the ball and passed it to Granero who’s fierce shot found the back of the net and allowed the Madridistas to heave a sigh of relief. Almeria 1-1 Real Madrid.

As the game neared the end, Almeria got a more defensive approach to the game. With minutes to go in the end, Ronaldo’s free kick hit Mbami on the hand with the Almeria player inside the box but the referee ordered for the free kick to be taken from the edge of the box. Ronaldo stepped up to the task but as luck (or bad luck?) would have it, his shot hit the crossbar and out.

The game ended 1-1 with Iker and Vargas putting their heads against each other reflecting the frustration of the otherwise calm and composed Real Madrid captain.

Conclusions

  • Why start with Ronaldo in the striker role and not have Benzema there? Ronaldo in a free role would have been a much better idea than forcing him to take the central position. He has been lethal when he can create space and have little give and go with Marcelo but that option was removed.
  • The combination of Kaka, Marcelo, Ozil and Di Maria looked totally clueless and uninspired at times. It seemed like they were playing together for the first time and had a hard time building up play. Not to single out any one player but Di Maria looked completely out of sorts. He took too much time on the ball, his passing wasn’t the greatest but the reason he is a great player is that he never gave up and tried to win the ball, which is probably why he stayed on until the end of the game.The credit for which can be given to Almeria’s defence who had shaped up well and stuck to their guns to prevent any Real Madrid attack.
  • To end this post, I would want to answer the question of this post. I agree that we are playing catch up to Barcelona and with a slip up like we had, the hopes and chances look bleak. Its hard to beat Barcelona (kudos to Hercules for managing that by the way!) or even getting a point out of them. With the 5-0 drubbing we suffered at Camp Nou, many would even question if we can manage to beat them at the Bernabeu. Having said all this, its only the first half of the season that’s done with. I expect (and hope..) that there would be slip-ups from them (and us). The title is not lost already and it would be very negative to think so.

What are your thoughts and opinions about the game? Write it in the comments box below!