Real Madrid 3-0 Eibar Spanish LaLiga week 9: match report, goals, action
Real Madrid 3-0 Eibar: match report
Real Madrid barely got out of third gear on Sunday night but didn't need to as they beat a tame Eibar side 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabéu, who didn't do a whole lot to help themselves.
Paulo Oliveira gave Real Madrid the lead with an own goal as the ball arrived in from the right from a Marco Asensio cross. He was under pressure from Sergio Ramos and he was hardly at fault but it was the beginning of the end for the visitors.
10 minutes later, with 28 gone, Isco broke down the left and crosses to a wide open Asensio, and he swung his left foot at it. The ball evaded Dmitrovic as he seemed to catch it late. It whizzed by his arm and it was a proper howler. Less than a half an hour in, it was looking like there would be no upset.
Real Madrid continued to control play and Eibar, while looking good on the ball, failed to create any meaningful chances.
Marcelo clinched the three points with the goal of the game when Theo Hernandez broke down the left and played the ball to Marcelo. He gave it to Benzema, who returned it almost immediately. A swivel and a strike later and the ball was whizzing past Dmmitrovic yet again. This time, however, he could do nothing about it.
Real Madrid up 3-0 in a game that failed to ever get going. They move up to third behind just Barcelona and Valencia while Eibar remain 16th with just seven points from a possible 27.
Real Madrid vs Eibar live stream online: latest news
Real Madrid vs Eibar live stream online: match preview
Real Madrid welcome Eibar to the Bernabéu on Sunday evening as Zinedine Zidane’s side look to keep pace with Liga leaders Barcelona. Eibar have never got the better of the reigning champions but did upset the odds last season in a 1-1 draw in Madrid that capped a run of four stalemates for Zidane’s side. Fran Rico put the visitors ahead before Gareth Bale salvaged a point for the home side, a little bit of history that the Real boss will be keen to ensure does not repeat itself with his team already playing catch-up in their defence of the title.
Injuries have been as much a part of the narrative during Zidane’s Bernabéu tenure as victories and titles and first-choice keeper Keylor Navas joined the queue for the treatment table in the run-up to the game after his spectacular performance against Spurs in midweek. Kiko Casilla is a perfectly able deputy to the Costa Rica international and will guard the sticks behind a defence that is likely to feature rising star Achraf Hakimi on the right in the absence of Dani Carvajal after the 18-year-old shone on his Champions League debut.
Zidane may choose to rotate elsewhere at the back, bringing Theo Hernández in on the left to hand Marcelo a breather and possibly handing Nacho a start in the centre with Raphael Varane trained on his own on Thursday after the Tottenham game.
Isco has stated his case for a regular starting berth with some outstanding performances this season, not least with a double in the 2-0 victory over Espanyol in Real’s last home Liga game, and in light of the form of his forwards Zidane could use an extra goal threat against a visiting side who are likely to operate with nine men behind the ball when not in possession.
Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo will start as they both seek to rediscover their touch in front of goal. The Frenchman was particularly culpable against Spurs, missing two clear chances, and Ronaldo is also struggling with just one Liga goal to his name in 360 minutes so far this season, although he does have five goals and four assists against Sunday’s opponents in five league matches.
Gareth Bale returned to training this week but will not be able to contribute as he did last season, leaving Zidane to choose between Marco Asensio and Lucas Vázquez if he opts for a three-pronged attack. If the Frenchman elects to play Benzema and Ronaldo up front in a 4-4-2, Isco will slot in on the left of midfield alongside Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, with the possibility that Casemiro may be given the afternoon to allow Dani Ceballos or Marcos Llorente to get further playing time under their belts with Mateo Kovacic still on the sidelines.
José Luis Mendilibar is likely to opt for damage limitation in the Bernabéu after seeing his side thrashed 6-1 by Barcelona, 4-0 by Celta and 3-0 by Villarreal in consecutive Liga fixtures. The rot was slowed a little in Eibar’s last outing, a 0-0 draw with Depor, but the three shots on goal mustered in that game are probably not going to be exceeded in the Bernabéu.
Any chances that do come his side’s way will be reliant on Sergi Enrich’s marksmanship. The striker will be tasked with ploughing a solitary furrow up front with two banks of four and five behind him. The 27-year-old bagged 11 league goals last season but has found the net just once so far in 2017-18, scoring the consolation in the defeat against Barça.
A five-man defence will be reasonably confident of nullifying the threat of Real’s forwards on the basis of the success enjoyed at the Bernabéu by Valencia, Levante and Betis but an early goal may open the floodgates, as Mendilibar will be all too aware.
The Eibar boss has a mounting injury crisis of his own and will be without Pedro León, a player who always has a still sore point to prove when he faces his former employers, last season’s scorer in the Bernabéu Fran Rico, seasoned centre half Iván Ramis and winger Iván Alejo all out.
The creative strings will be therefore be placed in the hands of Japan international Takashi Inui, who will give Achraf a workout from the left flank with Gonzalo Escalante working the lines in midfield alongside Dani García. Full backs Ander Capa and David Juncá will look to open up space on the overlap when Eibar are able to break in the hopes of getting ball into the air and into the box for Enrich, which is where Real are most vulnerable. Only Zidane’s side have put more crosses in than Eibar in LaLiga this season and that is where Mendilibar will seek to profit while attempting to keep the score down at the other end.
Real Madrid vs Eibar live stream online: possible line-ups
Real Madrid XI: Casilla; Achraf, Ramos, Nacho, Hernández; Llorente, Kroos, Modric, Isco; Ronaldo, Benzema.
Coach: Zinedine Zidane
Eibar XI: Dmitrovic; Capa, Arbilla, Gálvez, Oliveira, Juncá; Jordan, Escalante, García, Inui; Enrich.
Coach: José Luis Mendilibar