One of the major storylines to emerge from Madrid yesterday was the news that Gareth Bale suffered what is being termed a thigh injury while warming up before yesterday's match. Bale was replaced in the starting line-up by the man of the hour: Isco. This is how Carlo Ancelotti characterized the situation in his post-match press conference:
"He had a small problem when he was warming up. It's not an injury. He just didn't feel comfortable. He is disappointed because he was very excited to play."
Ancelotti went on to say that Bale would most likely not feature in the midweek fixture against Elche, but held out hope that the Welshman would be available to play in the looming Madrid derby next weekend.
The BBC quoted a team source as saying that "fatigue in the left thigh muscle was found."
For those surprised by Bale's injury yesterday, outside of its suddenness, perhaps you should take a look at the lengthy injury profile he has accumulated on injuryleague.com.
Staying off the pitch for a moment, Bloomberg's Businessweek is reporting that Real Madrid is canceling a proposed $1 Billion soccer themed resort in the United Arab Emirates. The ambitious project, announced last spring, is being canceled due to financial difficulties on the part of project organizer RAK Marjan Island Football.
On the pitch, a man who was able to make his home debut, Asier Illarramendi, is drawing notice due to a fine performance that saw him grow into yesterday's match and ultimately control the pace of the game with smooth, accurate short and long range passing. With Luka Modric also in fine form, this is certainly one selection dillema that Carlo Ancelotti may actually relish going forward.
There seems to be a situation developing between Karim Benzema and some sections of the Bernabeu faithful, particularly the Ultras Sur who reportedly began chanting for Alvaro Morata in the 2nd half yesterday, according to Dermot Corrigan. The languid Frenchman has actually showed up on the stat sheet numerous times this season, but does seem lacking in form and confidence, spurning several quality chances throughout the evening against Getafe. The crowd's displeasure was noted by Angel Di Maria, with the Argentinian being moved enough to tell AS:
"The whistling of Karim seemed ugly to me. Morata missed another chance, and nobody whistled him. You must be fair with everyone."
Ancelotti also had kinds words for the beleaguered striker, saying that he thought he did "a good job." Hopefully this is just a minor incident, but it's never good when one of your teammates feels as if they have to publicly defend you to the home fans after a three-goal victory. This could bear watching more closely if Benzema blows cold for any significant length of time.
Lots to think about.