Real Madrid at Racing Santander Recap: Madrid Can't Score

Cristiano Ronaldo shows his frustration during Real Madrid's game. September 21, 2011 in Santander, Spain. (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)

We can all agree that Mourinho was not very fortunate with his decisions last Sunday. Today, the blame lies on the players. Mourinho set a good starting lineup introducing Lassana Diarra, Varane and Callejón. This is the exact lineup I'd have played, because Angel Di Maria showed against Levante that he is not fit at all.

Varane was one of the bests players and Lass was simply Lass, because we don't have another midfielder--Mourinho doesn't think El Pirata and Xabi can play together.

The team didn't start the game well, but they weren't that bad either. Racing was not creating opportunities, but our only chance to score in the first half came in the 46th minute with a Callejón header that Toño blocked comfortably. Alonso and Lass didn't seem to understand each other, and while the Frenchman was working defensively Alonso was trying to control the flow of the game. He was trying, of course, and I am not panicking, but it is fair to say that Xabi didn't have a good game at all. He lost tons of balls in the whole game, and was very slow with everything.

 

 

It is known that Xabi Alonso never starts his seasons in good shape, and it usually takes him some time before he gets to his best form, so we should not be worried for the rest of the season.

You shouldn't be surprised that I'm not writing much about the first half, but there was nothing noticeable about it other than one nice Mesut Özil run to help the defense. As a matter of fact, he was the last man in that counterattack. You got to love that man's effort, but he is not playing at his best. We all know what he is capable of, and that's why we are expecting him to do better. Varane showed he is ready for these games, and Arbeloa was amazing, always focused and strong in his labour.

The second half started with Di Maria taking on Callejón's spot. I didn't like how Callejón played today, but I can say that about everyone of our players but Varane, Arbeloa and Kaká. Di Maria provided some 1 vs 1 skills and could create some decent opportunities.Racing Santander started better this second half and they even got a very good chance to score with a long-distance volley. Casillas managed to stop it very nicely and kept the game tied in his only trouble of the game.

Mourinho decided that it was time for Gonzalo Higuaín, and he took out Özil. The German can't last more than 60 minutes, so I found this substitution quite right. Pipa didn't receive a ball so this time I am not complaining about him. He even recognised when the team needed more midfield play and moved down the field to receive the ball and organize his team on some occasions.

The other substitution was Lass--who had a yellow card and wasn't needed because Racing started to worry just about defense--for Kaká with about 15 minutes to go. The Brazilian played well, and that's one of the few positive things about today's game.

With Kaká, the team realized it was better for them to move without the ball to generate space, and they certainly looked better in the last ten minutes of the game. Cristiano had a clear chance to head the ball to the net but missed it, but for few centimeters. Unfortunately for us, it was too late, because we didn't have another opportunity due to Racing's defense and some injuries down the road.

I don't recommend anybody watch this game, it was very frustrating and it will be better for us to look to the next match.

It has been reported that Florentino Pérez was in the locker room after the game supporting both Mourinho and the players. It is said that our President hugged Mourinho to show him his full support. Madrid will face Rayo Vallecano on Saturday at 20:00 in the Santiago Bernabeu, and the team will surely look to rebound from this situation.

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