Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid side claimed a point with 10 men against Las Palmas, but the Blancos have thrown away their advantage in La Liga
Real Madrid have been here before. With only one league title to their name in the past eight seasons. The Blancos are now in danger of throwing away the title once again after Wednesday’s 3-3 draw at home to Las Palmas.
A week ago, Madrid were at the top of the table with one point more than Barcelona and two games in hand. But after their 2-1 loss to Valencia last Wednesday and now this surprising draw at home to Las Palmas. Zinedine Zidane’s side are down in second place, a point adrift of their fierce rivals – and with only one game to make up.
So an advantage that could have been seven points by winning the two games in hand. One of which was the game at Mestalla, the other a fixture away to Celta Vigo which is yet to be rescheduled. Now is only two at best. And the trip to Balaidos will be anything but easy.
Madrid are conceding far too many goals. Two at Valencia and Villarreal on Sunday when they managed a stirring late comeback. And three more here as Ramos and Navas made mistakes in defence. After Bale lost his head and was sent off for lashing out at Viera.
Just recently, it was supposed to be Barcelona in crisis. The Catalans lost 4-0 away to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last month and have been off colour in La Liga as well. But late winners against Leganes at home and Atletico Madrid away have kept the Blaugrana in contention.
Barca thrashed Sporting Gijon 6-1 earlier on Wednesday and. With Madrid’s match already underway, news filtered through from Camp Nou that Enrique will be quitting the club this summer.
The under-fire Barca boss is walking away amid plenty of criticism as his side struggle for form. Yet just after he had announced his decision to leave this summer, Madrid handed his team a lifeline in La Liga.
And it could have been worse for Zidane’s side. At 3-1 down, Las Palmas had chances to extend their lead. And Madrid needed a penalty to get back in it and then a late leveller from Ronaldo. It was not a good result, but in the circumstances it was something. Now, however, there is no margin of error for the Blancos.
Fans at the Bernabeu showed their frustration with jeers for Zidane after the coach substituted Isco in the second half. Along with boos also for Navas who is struggling right now, along with Benzema and others in this match.
Madrid now travel to Eibar, Napoli and Athletic Club in three of their next four fixtures, with the game against Celta to come as well. And even though Barca are in perhaps their poorest patch since Luis Enrique took over in 2014. The Catalans are now top of the table and it is Madrid who suddenly seem vulnerable.
There is, of course, another Clasico clash to come this term and that takes place at the Santiago Bernabeu. But, unless they can miraculously turn it around against PSG. Barca will be able to concentrate on La Liga without the distraction of the Champions League.
So they are right in it and there is much work to be done for Zidane and Real. They’re simply not good enough right now. And to avoid gifting LaLiga to Barca like they did in Ancelotti’s second season when they threw away a lead in early March. Performances will have to be much, much better than this.