Real Madrid's mission to win La Liga looked got a lot tougher after that ridiculous draw against Valladolid. Still, they would try to beat Celta to keep their hopes of winning the tournament alive, or at least that's what we thought. Thanks to the recent injuries (and the fear of losing more players), Carlo Ancelotti had to use one of the least exciting lineups, featuring Álvaro Morata as the only striker, the inclusion of Casemiro and the return of both Álvaro Arbeloa and Sami Khedira. No Illarra today either.
It wasn't a very exciting first half for either team. Other than a decent opportunity for Marcelo inside Celta's box, the first few minutes were very dull. Morata was struggling a lot playing by himself on the attack, and Isco wasn't getting the ball very often and when he had it, he wasn't very accurate with it.
Just when Celta started to look like the most dangerous team, Isco had a good chance to give his team the lead with a shot just inside the box, but Álvarez made a good save. Just four minutes later and after a great play and cross by Marcelo, Morata wasted a fantastic chance right in front of Celta's goal, but his shot went wide. It took them more than half an hour to create danger, but Real Madrid was finally setting up some good plays.
When Real Madrid was starting to improve, Sergio Ramos ridiculously lost the ball right outside his own box. Charles, now with only Diego López to beat, didn't waste the chance and scored the 1-0 for his team.
That was it for the first half. The effort from los Merengues just wasn't there.
A fun play on the first corner kick of the second half almost gave Real Madrid the equaliser but Ramos's shot was blocked by a Celta defender. Moments later, Isco set up a good play with the aid of Marcelo, who crossed the ball to find Modric. The Croatian was pulled down by a defender but the ref didn't call the clear PK. A couple minutes later, Morata had a good shot from outside the box but Álvarez made another good save.
The start of the second half was looking really promising and in just a few minutes, Real Madrid created more danger than in the entire first half.
At the 56', Ancelotti took both Arbeloa and Khedira out (both returning from injury), for Coentrao and Illarramendi.
Things were calming down a bit after the first ten minutes but Real Madrid was still the better team. Sadly and when we were least expecting it, Xabi Alonso, emulating Sergio Ramos on Celta's first goal, made a horrendous mistake trying to pass the ball backwards to Diego López, and practically assisted Charles for the 0-2 at the 63'.
Coentrao forced Álvarez to make yet another save after a great long pass by Isco. At the 68th, Ancelotti took Casemiro out to give Willian José some minutes.
That shot by Coentrao was the last good chance for Real Madrid in a while. Actually, it wasn't until the 82' that Álvarez had to intervene again, this time on a shot by Illarramendi. Celta's third goal now looked a lot more likely than Madrid's first. All the intensity from the first minutes that had almost given them the tie was now lost. Even at the 89', Diego López had to save his team twice from further humiliation. Celta even hit the post on the final play of the game.
And that was it. Another humiliating result and the third pathetic result in a row after that win against Bayern.
It's funny how things work. Just when both Barcelona and Atlético get poor results, Real Madrid do everything in their power to return the favor. Forget about whether they deserved to win La Liga or not, this team simply didn't care and that can't be ignored even if they win La Décima.
Forget about injuries and the fact that we weren't expecting Barcelona and Atlético to lose points (once again), this is simply inexcusable. Call it lack of mental energy or whatever. This is unacceptable. You expect a lot more from Real Madrid.
One can't help but wonder, what would happen if they don't beat Atlético in the Champions League final? *Knock on wood* I don't even want to imagine it, but it's not looking good for some players and the coaching staff. At the same time, this would all be forgotten if they win La Décima.
Real Madrid better win it.