The game this weekend was causing a certain amount of concern for Real Madrid and their fans. Despite it being a home game, the visit of an in-form Villareal and the absence of star man Cristiano Ronaldo made it look like it was going to be a tough one, but Garteh Bale was back from injury and the Welshman inspired his team mates to a vital victory which moves Real Madrid to the top of La Liga.
There have been some real concerns among Real Madrid fans and some sections of the Spanish media this week. Following the decision of the football authorities to uphold the red card shown to Cristiano Ronaldo last weekend, this weekend’s La Liga clash with Villareal was looking like a tough one.
Gareth Bale has missed the last three games with injury, after suffering a painful kick to his privates, but he should have been back by now and there have been suggestions that the talented Welshman had suffered a recurrence of the calf problem that was dogging him earlier in the season.
Carlo Ancelotti has spoken to the press today ahead of the Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid semi-final first leg of the Copa Del Rey. The Italian manager is sweating on the complaints committee who are due to decide on whether the ban for Cristiano Ronaldo will be repealed and, if not, how long it will be.
It could even be extended, after the Portuguese Ballon D’Or winner was reported by the match referee for an offensive gesture towards the fourth official as he left the pitch. Ronaldo slapped his cheek a couple of times, which seems to be taken as referring to oral sex and players who have been pulled up for this before have been handed down extra bans of up to four games.
I am sure that Real Madrid will be appealing whatever suspension is handed out to Cristiano Ronaldo for his red card yesterday during the frustrating 1-1 draw away to Athletic Bilbao. The punishment of losing the best player in the world was bad enough, ultimately meaning that Madrid missed a great chance to go above great rivals Barcelona in La Liga.
But if Ronaldo is now banned for three games, which he could well be because it was a straight red, it will mean he misses both legs of the Copa Del Rey semi-final against city rivals and new league leaders Atletico Madrid. There is also a tricky looking La Liuga game against 5th placed Villareal to consider.
Real Madrid is a team packed full of world class talent. Involved in a three-way battle for top spot in La Liga with arch rivals Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, they will be hoping that those world class players can fire them to the title. They are also the most successful club of all time in the UEFA Champions’ League or European Cup equivalent, with nine trophies. If they wish to win the competition and the magical ‘tenth’ trophy this season, then they will need more than just everybody playing well.
Real Madrid face a crucial weekend in La Liga after fighting back brilliantly to move to within a point of league leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Ancelotti’s men have really put the pressure on the front runners and have been building up to some ominously good form, so to get another injury setback to the new star Gareth Bale is a real blow.
According to Spanish news outlet AS, the Welshman is certain to miss this weekend’s away game at Athletic Bilbao, which already promised to give Real Madrid a stern test, especially as we are the last of the top three to play. Barcelona are at home to Valencia on Saturday while Atletico have a home game against Real Sociedad eartlier on Sunday.
After Real Madrid won the second leg of their Copa Del Rey fixture against Espanyol on Tuesday, they became the first team to book their place in the semi-finals of the Spanish cup competition. And after last year’s final loss to city rivals Atletico Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti and his team must have been hoping for a favour from Athletic Bilbao.
They almost got it as well. It was looking good at halftime after Aduriz had scored to make the aggregate scores level, but second half goals from Raul Garcia and Diego Costa set up a repeat of last years final. It will be a two-legged affair, with the first one to take place at the Santiago Bernabeu next week and the second leg at the Vicente Calderon the following week.
It was almost the perfect La Liga weekend for Carlo Ancelotti and his Real Madrid team. With Los Blancos playing on Saturday, the opportunity was there to put pressure on Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, as the two league leaders were not in action until Sunday.
Ancelotti’s men certainly did their bit against bottom club Real Betis. Ronaldo took just 12 minutes to open the scoring and it never looked like anything other than a comfortable win. Gareth Bale put concerns over his form firmly behind him with a good performance capped by a fantastic free-kick goal.
There are concerns at Real Madrid over the recent poor performances of Gareth Bale, the most expensive player in the world. Nobody is exactly panicking or regretting the decision to sign the Welshman just yet, but there are some rumblings.
It is a bit harsh on Bale, in my opinion, because he did not set his own price and his Madrid career so far has been beset by niggling injury problems. And despite that, Bale is the club’s third top scorer behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema and he has played less than those two as well as Isco, Di Maria and others.
The case of Alvaro Morata and Real Madrid is a curious one and it has taken a few twists in the past year or so. And there could be another one coming soon, with rumours that manager Carlo Ancelotti and the club are ready to siften their stance on the promising young striker and let him leave the Santiago Bernabeu during this January transfer window.
When Jose Mourinho was getting grief from the media and fans alike last season about his failure to use promising youngsters, Morata was just about the only one he seemed to like and the young striker rewarded his faith with two massive goals coming on as a late sub.