New manager, same old story. Real Madrid played their first game since Santiago Solari was made the club’s permanent manager and slumped back into their shocking early season form to lose 3-0 away at tiny Eibar.
The Basque minnows had never beaten Real Madrid in their history but they carved the European Champions open time and again leaving Thibaut Courtois helplessly cursing his porous defence – this was another nightmare for the former Chelsea keeper after he shipped five in midweek for Belgium.
Kike Garcia gave Real Madrid a ‘welcome to Ipurua’ present on three minutes with a shot that crashed off the post with Courtois floundering.
Eibar (4-4-2): Riesgo, Pena, Oliveira, Ramis, Cote, Orellana (Alvarez 83), Escalante, Jordan, Cucurella, Enrich (Charles 74), Kike (De Blasis 88);
Subs not used: Areitio, Bigas, Cardona, Milla
Scorers: Escalante (16), Enrich (52), Kike (57)
Booked: Cucurella, Jordan
Manager: Jose Luis Mendilibar
Real Madrid (4-5-1): Courtois, Odriozola (Carvajal 54), Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Modric (Isco 63), Kroos, Ceballos, Asensio (Vinicius Jr 75), Benzema, Bale;
Subs not used: Casilla, Valverde, Vazquez, Sanchez
Manager: Santiago Solari.
Gareth Bale then thundered a long shot past Asier Riesgo and into the back of the net but the offside flag had been raised. Bale then flashed a cross just beyond Karim Benzema with Real Madrid’s next attack.
Benzema could then have converted Marco Asensio’s cross but Eibar scrambled it off the line and with their next attack on 16 minutes they had the lead.
Gonzalo Escalante turned the ball in after Dani Ceballos’ clearance hit him. Eibar had to wait for VAR to confirm the goal but their tiny stadium erupted as soon as referee Juan Martinez drew the imaginary screen in the sky.
The flag had been raised after Barcelona loanee Marc Cucurella surged down the left to cross for Sergi Enrich. But he was onside and when Courtois saved the forward’s cross Escalante bundled home.
Raphael Varane was slow to get in front of Garcia and he left Courtois with no chance. Courtois then made a fine one-handed save to stop Garcia making it 4-0. The Belgian has been shipping goals week in, week out for club and country but he could not be blamed for this defeat. The lethargy in front of him was all too evident.
There were only 6,435 inside Ipurua but they were witnessing the greatest day in the club’s history. Madrid have no answers, Isco came off the bench for Madrid but Eibar remained dominant.
Charles came on for Eibar and immediately split the Madrid central defenders rocketing a volley just over Courtois’ bar. Solari took off Marco Asensio and brought on Vinicius Junior but Real Madrid need more than a teenage prospect to save their season.
This was their big chance to close the gap on Barcelona and Atletico Madrid who play each other later Saturday. Instead they are just two points clear of Eibar in mid-table and with their stuttering campaign back in the doldrums.