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Four Takeaways from Real Madrid's 1-1 Draw to Villarreal

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Real Madrid lacked creativity and ideas in an underwhelming performance.

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1. The playmaking can't fall to Marcelo, Isco, and Cristiano Ronaldo alone: if Real Madrid intends to compete for the Champions League and La Liga, it will need all its players to contribute consistently and evenly when it comes to creating chances. Against Villarreal, Madrid looked flat when the ball fell to Lucas Silva, Gareth Bale, and Karim Benzema, among others. The link-up play between Marcelo, Isco, and CR7 remains excellent and dangerous; however, if the team only feels comfortable playing through the left side, it will become predictable and exploitable against top sides.

2. Lucas Silva has yet to show us something: while we've seen highlights of his Alonso-esque diagonals and booming shots from distance in his Cruzeiro reel, we have yet to see Lucas Silva do anything noteworthy while wearing white. He tends to play too close to Toni Kroos and looks reserved when on the ball, often playing short passes to the wings instead of carrying the ball forward. While he deserves time to adapt to the team and learn its system, I must note that everything Silva has shown us so far is well within Illaramendi's wheelhouse.

3. Carlo Ancelotti is terrible at substituting his players: it's the same old script: Ancelotti waits until the 70th minute to enact a confusing substitution that fails to address the team's needs. Remove Isco for Illara when the team needs a goal? Wait until the 80th minute to remove an ineffective Benzema for Chicharito? I have yet to understand why Carlo rotates (or doesn't) the way he does, but if he lacks that much trust in his bench players that he refuses to give them meaningful minutes against moderate league sides, then I'm officially concerned for the freshness and health of our starters come the final stretch of the season.

4. The Bernabéu faithful are not helping Gareth Bale: we can't deny that Bale had a stinker yesterday, but the Welsh Wizard was whistled by his home fans from the match's outset and had to endure louder and louder jeers as the game unfolded. Have fans already forgotten the two titles Bale confirmed for us last season? If the Bernabéu fans wants to see the best Bale soon, they should employ a new motivational tactic.