clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Elche Vs. Real Madrid, La Liga: Match review

The word 'unconvincing' has been bandied about a lot in relation to Real Madrid's recent performances, but Carlo Ancelotti's men waltzed into a hostile Estadio Martinez Valero and absolutely played a gritty, organized Elche side off the pitch in front of their frenzied, full-throated support. The decisive 2-0 result strengthened Real's grip on La Liga, taking full advantage of Barcelona's Saturday stumble.

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

The 2-0 victory bore Isco's fingerprints through-and-through, as the emerging Spanish superstar put on a masterclass of movement, vision and superlative passing that spanned the entire pitch. Isco pulled strings like Charles Mingus behind the deadly, fluid triumvirate of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.

Benzema in particular, was instrumental in Real's attack, flashing subtle, intelligent movement and creativity of his own to go along with his typical workrate and strength. Alongside Isco, the French international was a key cog in the impressively intricate football played by Los Blancos. Their positivity and willingness to go forward and invent was never shaken, even as an edgy Elche defended their home pitch with a volcanic intensity that sometimes strayed beyond the bounds of sportsmanship.

Elche played aggressively throughout the match, issuing sharp, thunderous tackles that often smacked into the boundaries of the rule book, none moreso than Aaron's ugly, cynical foul on Gareth Bale in the 53rd minute. The Welshman was lucky to escape serious injury, such was the recklessness of a challenge that amazingly did not earn the Elche midfielder a straight-red.

Undaunted Real played on, crashing into Elche's end with an assuredness that should go a long way toward erasing some of the doubt that has begun to linger in the minds of many Madridistas. As long football seasons undoubtedly have a rhythm and logic all their own, Real were finally rewarded for their beautiful football by a precipitous bounce off Tyton right onto the waiting boot of Big Benz who tucked it home for a 1-0 lead. Madrid kept their foot on the accelerator as Bale, Marcelo, Pepe and Lucas Silva positively refused to let the determined Valencians scratch and crawl their way into a point.

It all built toward an immense passage of sublime football that saw the ball rip through Marcelo and Bale before Isco conjured a moment of singular brilliance, shaking loose from a defender and unleashing a stunning cross that CR7 thumped emphatically into the net for a 2-0 knock-out blow.

These three hard-earned points earned Real Madrid some valuable breathing room at the top of the Primera's table as a busy, crucial March fixture lists looms. It was a performance by champions, men who refused to squander a pivotal opportunity.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Managing Madrid Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Real Madrid news from Managing Madrid