Getafe 1-0 Real Madrid. Below is the immediate reaction to the match. Still to come: player ratings, press conference highlights and the post game podcast.
Thibaut Courtois and Fede Valverde were poised to miss this fixture due to COVID-19, but a rapid recovery ensured they could be involved for this daytime kick off. Star man Vinícius Júnior and Eduardo Camavinga were not as lucky, and were not included in the squad despite testing positive at the same time. On top of this, Dani Carvajal and Gareth Bale remained unavailable due to injury. Lucas Vázquez sat in a right-back to accommodate this, with Rodrygo Goes taking the place of Vinícius out-wide. Eden Hazard took a seat on the bench alongside three Castilla players including recent debutant Peter González. Karim Benzema captained the team today.
✅ Our starting XI @GetafeCF! #GetafeRealMadrid pic.twitter.com/XyPFJ5Vj9b— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) January 2, 2022
Getafe were eager to let Real Madrid experience their approach within the first minute, with two bookable challenges being put in - but being waved away due to the earliness of the game. The referee did manage to calm the play down though, and Éder Militão reflected this. He was far too relaxed after deciding to try and turn with the ball back towards Courtois, before being pickpocketed by Enes Ünal in the box gifting the striker with a simple finish to put the hosts in front. It almost happened against minutes later, but Courtois was quick on his feet to clear the ball away. This clearance fell straight to Nikola Maksimović, whose terrible effort fell straight to the big Belgian, but it really should have been two. Luka Modrić responded for Madrid with a long ranged strike that needed saving to keep out. The Croatian then came even closer, hitting the crossbar after some good play by Benzema and Rodrygo. Real Madrid’s best chances of the half came after offside and infraction whistles - and Rodrygo and Ferland Mendy still couldn’t hit the target. Both the players and Carlo Ancelotti returned to the dressing rooms, behind, and in a noticeably frustrated manner.
A player can make a mistake and Militao certainly did. Bigger issue for me is him complaining to the referee and throwing his hands up rather than trying to fix it. Growing up, coaches always tell you - it’s the play after you make a mistake that defines you.— Matt Wiltse (@MattWiltse4) January 2, 2022
Ancelotti was not happy with what he had seen in the first half, and as a result Marcelo and Eden Hazard were brought on immediately at half time. This sharpened the team a little but they still did not look ready to truly compete at all. Casemiro came the closest to scoring, using good technique to force David Soria into a save. Substitute Mariano Díaz headed over, but it looked like it was not going to be Real Madrid’s day. Peter was once again called upon as the last hope alongside Isco, but once more it was too late. The final whistle confirmed the deserved 1-0 loss for Madrid in the local derby. The players were slower to react and make decisions than their rivals, and this ruggedness will need to be overcome quickly if the club wants to keep their healthy lead in La Liga. A lack of off the ball connection and quality on the ball sealed their fate on the day. A slow January could see all their good work thus far this season quickly undone. What were you feelings about the game?