Real Madrid’s five-game winning streak was snapped Wednesday as Los Blancos played to a 1-1 draw against Elche on the road in La Liga. Real Madrid were coming off a 2-0 win against Granada, but failed to continue the dominating play from last week.
Manager Zinedine Zidane rolled his team out in an attempt to solidify his starting XI moving forward perhaps, opting to give Marco Asensio the start for the injured Rodrygo. Marcelo returned on the backline.
It was a promising start for Real Madrid, who got off on a quick start in front of goal with both Kroos and Marcelo making their presence felt with opportunities on the ball with attempts on net. Los Blancos would eventually break through on goal in the opening 20 minutes with a goal from Luka Modric.
Kroos and Modric would link up with Asensio on a run, but his shot from outside the box was too strong and rang the crossbar. The ball squeaked out to a darting Modric, who was making a follow up run and scored the opening header for Madrid’s opening goal.
Despite the lead, the visitors would fail to capitalize on the momentum, appearing more methodical at times during the remainder of the first half, unable to break through Elche’s defense. A lack of solid goal scoring opportunities from Elche would keep Real Madrid with the narrow lead into halftime.
Zidane would continue with his initial starting eleven to begin the second half, with Elche doing well to frustrate Madrid’s midfield. The work would pay off early in the second half as a penalty was awarded to the hosts as Carvajal tugged on the jersey of Antonio Barragan trying to get a cross off.
Fidel Chaves would step to the spot and convert for Elche as his attempt got past Courtois on a low left-footed shot.
To their credit, Madrid continued to try and get the lead back, but were vastly frustrated by Elche as both fouls and yellow cards began to pile up.
Luka Modric, Real Madrid: Madrid’s best midfielder on the day, Modric was able to move out of pressure from Elche and was able to find teammates on and off the ball. And he was responsible for Real’s lone goal of the day. Rating: 8
Marcelo, Real Madrid: Made his return to the lineup and showed why he’s still one of the best attacking backs out there. Was on the ball trying to facilitate for the club, and nearly broke through on goal various times. Possible rust and lack of time impacted an otherwise solid performance. Rating: 7
Carvajal, Real Madrid: The most visibly frustrated of Madrid’s players today as the game progressed. Earned a yellow just past the hour mark and very nearly a second in the winding minutes as Madrid was pressing higher for a goal, setting up a dangerous stoppage time free kick for the hosts. Rating: 5
The 1-1 draw means Real Madrid failed to capitalize on the day against a lower-tier team they have historically dominated. The dropped points on the road mean Atletico Madrid have a two-point lead at the top of the La Liga table. Real Madrid will have a chance in the new year to try and get back in the chase for first place when they face Celta Viga on Jan. 2 in Madrid.