It's quite painful to watch Real Madrid playing away from the Santiago Bernabéu this year. For reasons unknown, there's no trace of the team that dominated in the Sánchez Pizjuán, Mestalla, San Mamés and even the Camp Nou in this version of Mourinho's Real Madrid. Now, the team will need to overcome a 2-1 deficit in the Copa del Rey tie against Celta. A 1-0 at the Bernabéu would be enough.
Luka Modric was Real Madrid's best player other than Cristiano Ronaldo. But even so, the team couldn't create one dangerous chance throughout more than 85 minutes. If Real Madrid signed a true winger, most of the team's problems would be solved. Neither Arbeloa nor Varane were effective as full backs, while Di María continued to be as sloppy as he's been during the rest of the season.
The Argentinian player was one of the reasons why the team performed so well during the beginning of the 2011-2012 campaign, but he's yet to make an impact this season. He seems to choose the bad option every time he touches the ball, and that's something the team can't afford. He will probably have to play for the next couple of games, though, as Benzema had to leave the game soon when he sprained his right ankle. With Higuaín's injury, the most likely scenario will see Cristiano Ronaldo playing as the center forward with Callejón and Di María on the wings.
Some Real Madrid fans believe it would be reasonable to start Callejón in the right back position. That way, he could go forward to offer his teammates some passing options with his aggressive runs. When Marcelo and Coentrao are injured, the team lacks depth on both wings. Cristiano Ronaldo tends to go to the center, and so do Di María and Özil. All Celta, Betis or Getafe had to do was put as many men as possible in the center of the pitch to prevent Real Madrid from attacking successfully.
Celta had a lot of corner-kicks and managed to score in a weird play when Pepe, Carvalho and Adán were waiting for the referee to raise the flag. Celta's striker was in a correct position, so the goal was rightfully scored. After that, Herrera's team put the second goal on the scoreboard with a beautiful long shot by Cristian Bustos.
Mourinho then went all-in to try to score one goal that would make Real's job much easier, and Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to give his team a breath in the 87th minute. Varane spent the last ten minutes playing as a forward because of an injury. Mourinho had already substituted three players, so the French player gave his best to stay on the pitch and contribute as much as possible.
Real Madrid will now receive Espanyol. Aguirre's team is currently in the relegation zone, but without Benzema, Varane and maybe Coentrao, Madrid's job won't be easy, but some could say that about almost every game the team has played this season.
Who was the team's Man of the Match?
Cristiano Ronaldo (41 votes)
Modric (33 votes)
Other (21 votes)
95 total votes