Being the first one to blink in the usual race to the La Liga title doesn’t guarantee Real Madrid will end up on the wrong side of the championship once again, but its complete reliance on individual brilliance instead of a more team oriented style makes it impossible for them to win when Gareth Bale can barely play for 60 minutes while Cristiano Ronaldo does everything in the most selfish of ways.
Both of Real Madrid’s super expensive players scored, making Bale’s debut a successful one on the stat sheet. However, his slide to connect with a cross from Luka Modric, immediately drawing up a moment of Tottenham nostalgia.
Cristiano Ronaldo actually gave Real Madrid the lead in the second half (even though they didn’t deserve it), enjoying a mess in the box and a lucky bounce of his knee in order to score on a day which Ronaldo seemed focused on doing everything on his own, without passing to other players or making himself available in any other spot than on the left wing, where he probably remained at for far too long against a team that was very well prepared to make life hellish for the visitors.
Villarreal might be the most enjoyable team to watch in Spain right now thanks to Cani and Gio Dos Santos, the two scorers for the Yellow Submarine, who were the more dangerous side throughout the match, giving Diego Lopez another chance to prove why he’s the one between the goalposts, as Iker Casillas doesn’t do a very good job at hiding his frustration on the bench.
The bottom line has to be that Real Madrid looked disjointed and close to a mess during Carlo Ancelotti’s early matches, which eventually will lose you points. Isco wasn’t able to control the pace and flow of the attack, covered very well by Bruno and the Villarreal midfield, while the combination of Luka Modric with Asier Illarramendi was a disaster. Both of them aren’t midfield stoppers, and provided too soft of a wall for Villarreal to punch through time after time in their well orchestrated attacks.
The defense at the moment is a mess. Nacho isn’t the one to blame, because he isn’t good enough to be a left back for Real Madrid. Villarreal realized very early that trying to push through that flank will result in chances, and only by sheer luck and Diego Lopez’ gloves did Real Madrid not concede more than two goals. The Sergio Ramos and Pepe combination looks confused at the moment, with Ramos lucky not to be sent off, using hard and dirty fouls again and again to cover for his terrible positioning.
This team is too talented to look this bad, and Bale, due to his lack of training during the summer, will need some time to be completely match fit. Maybe until that moment comes Angel di Maria deserves a bit more credit than another cameo off the bench. The worrying parts have to be Ancleotti making the wrong choices about his midfield and the defending that continues to be scattered and all over the place. Cristiano Ronaldo, even on a bad and frustrating day, will find a way to score.