For Real Madrid, the matches against the likes of Inter and Barcelona can ensure victories, but against the likes of Cadiz, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Alaves; they tend to dish out their worst ever displays. A roster against Alaves always ensured full points, but the time has changed and right now, the Los Blancos lose their way while facing the lower-ranked teams in La Liga – this is very strange and annoying at the same time.

At the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium one can say, they had been compact, and pick and choose their spots on the counter, their defence was solid in transitions and they suffocated the flanks. It is their style of play and Zinedine Zidane knows this very well – for which, he would definitely surface a team to counter that challenge. Above all, he has the players to deliver the goods.

Astonishingly, the Los Blancos were below-par.

Alaves were handed a fifth-minute penalty when Victor Laguardia’s header struck Nacho on the upper arm, and Perez found the left corner with a confident strike from the spot.

Thibaut Courtois then prevented a second goal, producing a sharp stop to palm away a chip from Perez who got in behind the Madrid defence.

Eden Hazard, meanwhile, had to be substituted just before the half-hour mark – surely, he was injured again and surely, he has been a poor investment for Real Madrid so far!

Toni Kroos was denied by a fine double save from Fernando Pacheco, after a shambolic attempt by Alaves to walk the ball out of defence from a goal kick.

But Madrid were counting the cost of Kroos missing out as Alaves stretched their lead in the 49th minute. Courtois tried to pick a pass to Casemiro, but it was never on and Joselu stole in to intercept and side-foot into the empty net from 25 yards.

Perez was denied by Courtois, but again he breached the Madrid backline before Joselu then sent a thumping drive just wide of the top left corner as the two goal-scorers combined to melt down the home side.

Casemiro pulled one back, but Alaves conquered Alfredo Di Stefano.

The Real Madrid backline was found wanting again. Raphael Varane was out of position more often despite making some crucial blocks. Nacho Fernandez gave away the penalty after five minutes and from then on, his performance went downhill – found guilty of not interfering during the second goal of Alaves. He often left Varane on his own or had Casemiro cover his gaps.

Marcelo was very poor and had no influence as a leader or defender – left gaps, which he always does when not having his day.

Lucas Vazquez and Casemiro were the players, who looked the better ones apart from others at the back.

The crosses of Vazquez into Mariano Diaz were pinpoint and made his presence known in the attack and defence – he boasts the highest passing completion with 95%.

Meanwhile, Casemiro helped the defence and offered threat inside the box of opposition also – scored a goal and finished with 4 tackles.

There is very little to say about the midfield and frontline of Real Madrid – Toni Kroos dished out a rare unimpressive display while Luka Modric failed to mobilize. None could find where Marco Asensio was, Mariano remained fruitless while the substitutes also failed to create an impact.


Another night to forget for Real Madrid!

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