Real Madrid put two past Elche as Carlo Ancelotti’s men opened a 4 point lead over arch-rivals Barcelona on the top of the La Liga table. The Galacticos seem to have recovered well after their 4-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid with Cristiano Ronaldo putting forward an impressive display alongside Isco who is fast developing into the hottest property in Europe.
With Barcelona succumbing to a 1-0 defeat to Malaga on Saturday, Real Madrid maintained their composure as a strong display against Elche saw them earn some breathing room at the top of the table. Carlo Ancelotti’s men dominated the game completely and the manager will be happy to have the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Marcelo back in form ahead of their gruelling season-end schedule.
Crisitano Ronaldo And Isco Stand Out
After winning his third Ballon d’Or earlier this year, Cristiano Ronaldo suffered an inexplicable drop in form with rumours of a knee-injury doing the rounds. There were also rumours surrounding a possible transfer to Manchester United but the Portuguese seems to have silenced his critics once again after putting forward a convincing display against Elche. Real Madrid’s goal machine scored against Schalke 04 earlier this week and then scored against Elche to silence all talks regarding the rumoured drop in form.
The Ballon D’Or winner was a constant threat for Elche and combined well with the likes of Isco, Benzema and Gareth Bale. The Portuguese had a couple of good chances and even struck the post once during the game. His presence combined with that of Benzema and Isco bodes well for Carlo Ancelotti. Isco, Spain’s golden boy, once again showed why he deserves a starting position at Real Madrid after orchestrating the team’s win against Elche. The Spaniard is having a brilliant season and is making the most of Modric’s absence at Real Madrid. He has blossomed in the three-man midfield and could play his natural game with Kroos and Lucas Silva taking guard behind him. Real Madrid could comfortable execute Carlo Ancelotti’s philosophy on the pitch and dominated the possession (Elce 39%, Real Madrid 61%). Lucas Silva also had a good game and the young Brazilian is proving to be a smart investment for Real Madrid with Illarramendi showing no signs of coming good on the hefty investment. The young midfielder was brought from Real Sociedad as a long time replacement for Xabi Alonso. However in his second season at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Spaniard seems to have dropped further down in the pecking order after the arrival of Silva. Toni Kroos on the other hand once again shone in his deep role and is playing a decisive role for Real Madrid. The German international controlled the tempo of the game as he effectively sprayed the ball around the pitch. He has adapted well in his defensive role and while he is not much of a threat while on the attack, Kroos has the knack for picking out the right pass in the right moment.
Carlo Ancelotti will perhaps be most relieved with Real Madrid’s defensive performance after their harrowing defeat against Atletico Madrid. With Sergio Ramos out with an injury, Pepe and Varane were strong in the defence and allowed Elche little breathing room. Meanwhile both Carvajal and Marcelo proved their worth by being equally adept at defending and moving forward. Marcelo has been on the top of his game and his partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo on the left flank proved to be a big threat for Real Madrid.
24 games into the La Liga, Real Madrid will be keen to keep the pressure on Barcelona and Atletico Madrid with a string of strong performances. As Carlo Ancelotti highlighted, this La Liga title will go down to the last fixture.