The race to the league title is still on

Real Madrid equalized against neighbors down south Getafe, dropping two precious points towards the title race against Atlético Madrid and Barcelona. They are still in contention, being only three points behind the latter. 

Photo credits: Real Madrid C.F. & Marca

By Daphne Seberich 

Real Madrid are still unbeaten in the last 15 games. That’s how Zinedine Zidane and the Madridistas would sell it. Nevertheless, the Blancos drew at the Colosseum Alfonso Pérez in a very tight game against Getafe, where the countless absences on the pitch were hard-felt. 

Zidane had to reshuffle for the ninth time in the last nine games his lineup. Injuries and suspensions stood in the way of picking the ideal 11 to maximize points against their neighbors down south. Real Madrid was without a defense. Casemiro and Toni Kroos were missed in the midfield. Not even the Merengues’ Pichichi Karim Benzema could overcome the difficulties of the match.

What sealed the Madridistas fate was a questionable offside decision after a brilliant goal scored by forward Mariano. In the early doors of the match, the Brazilian kicked the ball to the back of the net for Real Madrid’s advantage. Referee José Maria Sanchez Martinez’s decision after the VAR consultancy with José Luis Munuera Montero was detrimental to the match’s outcome for the Whites. 

Photo rights: LaLiga

The image shown during the game to determine the offside was, although, proven to be controversial. The chosen frame that determined Mariano’s goal as invalid showed the ball already in motion. It had already left Éder Militão’s boot. Fran Martinez (@LaLigaenDirecto), who analyzes LaLiga’s VAR and referee decisions, claimed that the previous frame, with the ball still untouched by the Brazilian, would have depicted Mariano in a legal position. 

The highly defending team Getafe played mostly in their half of the pitch. For them, drawing against Real Madrid was already an accomplishment. It’s been three years since the ‘Azulones’ have scored against the Whites. Both parties had numerous chances to score the advantage goal, but no one managed to finalize it. 

Eres Unal of Getafe had a chance in the second half of the match but was neutralized by resilient Thibaut Courtois. He was then called into duty by a late attempt by Nemanja Maksimović that was cleared by the Belgian over the crossbar. 

Video rights: LaLiga

Real Madrid was clearly the strongest team in the last five minutes of the game and were hoping to come out on top to maximize points. The neighbors, although, held the Madridistas in check to earn a share of potential points.

Courtois voiced some of his thoughts after the match: “Now is not the time to moan about injuries – you have to show your face. We’re a bit disappointed by the draw, but it’s not easy with so many games. We were up against Getafe, which is a tough place to go, on a very dry pitch. It was difficult to move the ball about. With so many injuries, you can’t rotate as much and you’re a bit at your limit, but we don’t think much about it. We have to recover well, rest well… that’s the only way.” 

Video rights: Real Madrid TV

Real Madrid will face Cádiz on Wednesday to attempt to match Atlético Madrid in the standings. 

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