The refereeing in Spain has always been sub-par and worse, but the horror display from Cesar Muniz Fernandez that gave Cristiano Ronaldo the opportunity to score twice for Real Madrid was probably one of the worst that the La Liga has produced for quite some time.
Because Real Madrid didn’t deserve to come out with a win out of Elche. They looked bad, confused and out of sync, with Karim Benzema continuing his awful form that seems to grow worse while Carlo Ancelotti does nothing to change it. It seems the key and barometer for good performances is the way Isco performs. Goals come from Ronaldo, but they have nothing to do with how well Real Madrid play, especially not in the 2-1 win over Elche.
It wasn’t just going with Real Madrid on almost every 50-50 decision. It was the blatant one-sided officiating and almost begging for Real Madrid to win, as if he was looking for someone to slightly touch a Real Madrid player in the box. When Elche scored their injury time equalizer, it was the 91st minute, after Fernandez added three minutes. That should have given maybe thirty more seconds, but somehow it dragged for almost five minutes when Real Madrid got their corner kick, resulting in the non existing penalty kick.
But while Real Madrid get away with one heading into their derby match against Atletico Madrid, there are too many issues for them to simply ignore and be happy with the win. While it’s unclear when Gareth Bale will be fit to play, as Real Madrid gave him too many minutes once he arrived for promotional and financial reasons, he isn’t what should be the difference between an awful looking team and one that puts on satisfying displays.
Karim Benzema must be the first person fingers are pointed at, and justly so. Nothing he does seems to work for him, but with Benzema, it might be the lack of competition for the striker position that’s causing him to look so lethargic and useless. His whole body language seems to be signaling that he’d rather be somewhere else, or simply doesn’t care enough about what’s happening around him. It’s probably just the way he is, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s hardly done anything positive for Real Madrid this season, maybe because he knows Ancelotti is too afraid, for now, to use Alvaro Morata instead of him.
Another issue is the appalling form of Alvaro Arbeloa, although the entire defense is being dragged down with him. Dani Caravajal might have a lot less experience, but he’s a better defender than Arbeloa, who constantly gets beaten by quick wingers, and he was the main player at fault with Elche’s late equalizer. Arbeloa resorts to fouls to cover up for his mistakes, while the Sergio Ramos – Pepe tandem continues to defy logic by being problematic in the air and having too many moments of rushing out for no reason instead of staying on their feet and using their heads.
We’ve yet to see a convincing match from Real Madrid in the league this season. Certain good minutes, here and there. Probably the second half against Athletic Bilbao was the best of them, but that’s it, pretty much. Relying so much on one player to score has sent this team into some sort of creative decay, and it looks like instead of trying to solve if with the existing talent, everyone’s waiting for Gareth Bale to be fit and act like a spark plug to a dormant group.