A red card isn’t the end of the world, but the sad thing is, that from this season, there’s a good chance that the one thing we’ll remember from Kaka is the red card he got in yet another disappointing result for Real Madrid, going through a terrible season by their own standards, currently two matches out of reach from the second place.
It was always going to be hard against an Osasuna team ranked 19th but probably a lot better than their point-grabbing rate suggests, especially at El Sadar. Real Madrid managed only one shot at goal, as the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo was simply too much for the team to handle.
Iker Casillas was back between the posts and had a fine performance, while Sergio Ramos didn’t play while Real finished with a clean sheet on an away match for the first time after nearly two months, which means that Ramos, not a Mourinho favorite, shouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t get to play in the next match.
But missing Ronaldo wasn’t the only problem. It wasn’t just the finishing leg that was missing, although it’s hard to measure Ronaldo’s effect because of what he does with his presence, even when he doesn’t shoot at goal. The attention he gets and commands from defenses helps free up players through the entire 90 minutes, and his absence makes it very hard for others players to shine, especially when several key of them are in such poor form.
Luka Modric one a starting lineup position while both Kaka and Mesut Ozil were sitting on the bench. Go figure. The Croatian may thrive on home matches in the Copa Del Rey against teams like Celta Vigo, but anytime this season the pace was a bit higher and the physicality of the match was turned up a bit, he seemed a bit like a fish out of water, especially when playing behind the forwards.
Angel Di Maria’s form this season has been terrible, and being the most talented creator on the pitch didn’t help the Argentinian win back his form or assure a place in the lineup. Instead of the smart decision he was making in the past while cutting from the wing into the middle, he got mixed up in uneccesary dribbles time and time again, eventually replaced by Karim Benzema early in the second half.
For Gonzalo Higuain, it was a frustrating return from injury. His scoring record, as it always is, remains quite impressive with 7 goals in 12 matches this season. Most of them have come with Ronaldo playing next to him, and he looked rusty and a bit hurried in the few touches he got.
Kaka? Needed only 15 minutes to pick two yellow cards, the sending off one for denying Osasuna a chance to restart the match. There wasn’t much complaining from him or his teammates, who are even losing any kind of fighting spirit. A player that came to Real Madrid as one of the best in the world and is fading away into oblivion on the bench and in the few moments he gets to spend on the pitch. Not influential, not clever, not anything worth mentioning in a positive way.
The league title is long gone for Real Madrid and Mourinho. Now there’s only the second place, the Copa Del Rey and the Champions League. With performances like these, it wouldn’t be surprising if their own self-belief about winning anything this season at all is slipping away.