Real Madrid were held to a 2-2 draw as the visited Estadio El Madrigal. Both, Asier Illarramendi and Gareth Bale were able to make their debut for the team as the Welsh international scored his first ever goal for the club.
Carlo Ancelotti confirmed in the pre-match press conference that Diego Lopez was going to start ahead of Iker Casillas while Gareth Bale would be making his debut for the team. The starting lineup consisted of:
Diego Lopez, Dani Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos [C], Nacho, Asier Illarramendi, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema.
Gareth Bale (39′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (64′)
Promising Start From The Debutants:
As Gareth Bale and Asier Illarramendi were able to make their debuts for Real Madrid, both players were able to show some great promise for the future. While Bale was all over the place to try and make an impact on the game, he was also able to get a goal and the happiness on his face was clear for everyone to see. As for Illarramendi, he was able to hold his position really well throughout his time on the pitch and did everything he possibly could to keep Villarreal’s danger as far away as possible. Both players were substituted halfway through the second half.
Defense, Defense, Defense:
Lately, it seems as though talking about the defense has become the norm for Real Madrid. With the injuries to Raphael Varane, Marcelo, and Fabio Coentrao, the fans were not expecting the best of performances but what happened last night was a disaster. Even though we have many injuries, we were still able to come out with a very experienced back four (maybe the exception being Nacho, who is inexperienced). Pepe was disastrous while Sergio Ramos didn’t really have his best game. The defense problem has been going on for quite some time now and it seriously needs to improve. Both goals scored against us were easily stoppable.
What a player, what a goalkeeper. Diego Lopez has been able to prove yet again that he deserves to be in the starting lineup. Even though he conceded two goals, neither of them were his mistakes. He was able to save many opportunities and keep Real Madrid in the game. If it wasn’t for him, the score would surely be far worse that it is right now. Yet another great performance from the Spanish goalkeeper.
It is still pretty early in the season and the team has a few new players that still need to find their space within the team. Illarramendi has recently returned from injury while Bale has only trained a couple times before this game. The team has a lot of room for improvement and will need to do it fast. With their first UEFA Champions League game coming up in a few days against Galatasaray, Los Merengues will need to get their act together and go their for all three points.