Real Madrid are crossing off days on their calendar with the club focused on the Champions League tie against PSG which could be pivotal in determining how their season unfolds. It's generally felt that the league campaign is as good as done and dusted and this stage of the Copa del Rey still is still being seen as an opportunity to experiment with lesser used players. The Spanish cup has never been a major priority for the club and on only two occasions have the Bernabeu side hoisted both the Copa del Rey and European Cup/Champions League trophies in the same season. Last night was a case of going through the motions with the 2-2 result leaving Numancia feeling good about themselves and a performance would have offered limited stimulation for Madrid fans.
The game itself featured brief elements which generated interest with Numancia capitalizing on the home team's errors. For Madrid there were fleeting passages of acceptable play but it was certainly not a team that exuded an air of organisation, unity and dynamism. There is a common sense of melancholy which has swept through both the first team and last night's "B side" which is something that needs to be addressed quickly. This was a far cry from the "reserve" team that we saw perform admirably on many an occasion last season and last night's second string outfit without doubt have an air of disenchantment hanging over them.
So many players at the club have realised that the league campaign is over and they don't quite know why. Cristiano's lack of goals is a starting point and also because the luck that they called upon last season has disappeared and this has led to a less dazzling manner of playing. The reserve players are frustrated with a lack of first team action which they deem unjust and realise that irrespective of how hard they work, the coach will reman faithful with his trusted traditional starters. Both "teams" offer the same overall sensation with brief flurries of fine play but an overall sense of inconsistency. Second division outfit Numancia were able to capitalise on Madrid's current malaise as we wait anxiously for the PSG home and away ties to come around.