In Europe things have been ticking along fine but on the domestic front, Real Madrid seem to have lost their mojo. They just about beat Málaga yesterday with a flabby display - and a late penalty, after letting in the first two goals Michel’s men have managed to score away from home this season - three if you include the one Baysse put away which Gil Manzano ruled out - adjudging that the player climbed on Carvajal. It was a messy decision because, judging by the ref’s signals, some people thought that the goal had been disallowed because time was up just as the ball was floated into the box. It seems that that wasn’t the case. Madrid also had reason to complain about Gil Manzano because he only awarded one out of three possible penalties. But that was the least of it.
Zidane's first choice players not pulling their weight
Several of Madrid’s regular starters looked lackadaisical, disinterested while those who deserve to be given a chance were left out again. At least Lucas Vázquez, who was the team’s most active player, was given a run-out yesterday. You could tell that Zidane is preparing the team to revert to a 4-3-3 set-up for when Bale returns. Lucas Vázquez was so energetic and sprightly that he showed the others up. As for Cristiano, luck’s still not going his way in LaLiga. And all of that is starting to bother the Bernabéu who detect some kind of favouritism for certain players. Yesterday, fans were furious when Isco was taken off while the casual, unhurried, Kroos was left on.
Apart from their defence, Málaga looked excellent. They look good going forward, out together some very elegant moves but at the back… oh dear! With hardly any real effort Madrid managed to put three past them and they got away with two penalties not given and their keeper Roberto was the man of the match - they have a great goalkeeper in him. But their defence is so weak that they allowed an uninspired Madrid off the hook. The first choice players need to pull their finger out or Zidane will have to stop being so dogged and start giving opportunities to those who are pushing for a place. The fans continued to leave the ground with an exasperated look and this time, pinning their hopes on a favour from Valencia...