Friday, May 27

Real Madrid – Elche CF: Proud of this Elche (2-2)

Frustration, rage, impotence… That was the first feeling that the Elche players and all the franjiverdes fans had when De Burgos Bengoetxea decreed the end of yesterday’s match against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.

The team from Elche was closer than ever to achieving the first victory in its history in the Madrid fiefdom. I was winning 0-2 in the 80th minute and the doors of glory were wide open to write in gold letters the first victory in the white house.

But, as happened last Thursday in the Copa del Rey tie, Madrid can never be left for dead and a goal from Militao, in extra time, established the tie and left Francisco’s team with the honey on the lips after great effort, which allowed them to touch the feat.

That was the first feeling. However, after the comforting shower and already cold, the sfeeling was to have added a gold point, in an almost impregnable field and in which, as Mister Chip announced, Elche is the first visitor in the entire history of LaLiga to score points at Real Madrid’s pitch without launching any penalty and having two against. There were three, because the VAR rectified one that the referee had pointed out due to an alleged push by Diego González to Hazard, which did not exist.

Despite the initial disappointment and anger, this Elche is something to be proud of. Once again, since the arrival of Francisco, he has shown that he is capable of competing against anyone and in any field. Yesterday he was close to the feat against the leader, with a team greatly diminished by casualties, and took another giant step towards his goal of permanence.

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Francisco, who could not be on the bench either, could not count on the injured Pedro Bigas, Roco and Guido Carrillo; nor with Mascarell, Pastore, Barragán and Josema due to covid. He only made two changes during the game and one forced by Tete Morente’s injury, at 20 minutes.

In these circumstances, scoring a point against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu is quite a feat, which was, in a way, blurred by having been so close to glory.

The decrease in troops did not prevent the franjiverde coach from being brave. Bet on Lucas Boyé, who returned after his ankle problems and it was noticeable, although he was not fully empowered, and by Lucas Pérez up front, with Morente and Pere Milla on the wings. Only Fidel, Josan and Piatti remained on the bench, as first-team outfield players and the Argentine returned from covid.

very advanced defense

The group from Elche was clear about their coach’s slogan and did not lock themselves behind. With an advanced defense, almost in the center of the field and high pressure, he tried to stop the white game.

The quality of the Madrid players made them go backwards and in the first half they were subdued by Ancelotti’s team. In the most difficult moments, the figure of Edgar Badia, who remembered the best Iker Casilla, in what was his stadium. The goalkeeper aborted two shots from Benzema and another from Casemiro.

In the 31st minute it seemed that everything was fading when the referee signaled a penalty for Helibelton Palacios to Vinicius. Before there had been a prior foul on Pere Milla de Kroos, but the VAR did not want to intervene. The Madrid captain missed the maximum penalty. After repelling the crossbar, the ball went out.

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And in the 41st minute, in one of Elche’s few attacks, Fidel put a candy in Lucas Boyé’s cross and the Argentine, with a header, scored the 0-1.

Before the break, Edgar Badia reappeared with another two great saves on Benzema and Kroos in a free kick on the crosshead. At the break 0-1 and the doors of glory were opening.

The second half began with the second penalty. In this case the one that the VAR canceled it. Elche no longer had so many problems, they defended themselves with order and tried to keep the ball in the opposite field.

Benzema had to retire injured and Jovic left. And in 75, Francisco’s team struck the second blow. Boyé took the ball between two opponents, put the ball into the hole to Pere Milla, who with a cross shot and with the right, scored the 0-2. Seeing is believing. The feat was closer than ever. It seemed like it was the big day. Casemiro crashed a ball into the crosshead. All the stars were aligned with Elche.

The story began to turn into a nightmare in the 80th minute. Third penalty in favor of Madrid indicated. In this case it was by the hands of Pere Milla. Modric did not fail and made it 1-2.

Juanito’s mythical phrase: “90 minutes at the Bernabéu are molto longo” began to appear and in minute 92, when Elche was about to make history, a Vinicius center came from the baseline that Militao, in a jump spectacular above Mojica, finished off high and scored the final 2-2. A shame, but proud of this Elche.

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REAL MADRID: Courtois, Lucas Vázquez (Isco, d. 79), Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Cesemiro, Kroos (Rodrygo, d. 63), Modric, Hazard (Valverde, d. 79), Benzema (Jovic, d. 57) and Vinicius .

ELCHE: Edgar Badia, Helibelton Palacios, Gonzalo Verdú, Diego González, Mojica, Gumbau, Guti, Tete Morente (Fidel, m. 22), Pere Milla, Lucas Pérez (Josan, m. 87) and Lucas Boyé.

GOALS: 0-1 m. 41, Lucas Boyé. 0-2 m. 75, Pere Milla. 1-2 m. 80, Modric, penalty. 2-2 92, Militao.

REFEREE: From Burgos Bengoetxea, from the Basque school. He showed yellow cards to Militao (m. 53), Fidel (m. 54), Vinicius (m. 72) and Alaba (m. 95).

STADIUM: Santiago Bernabeu.

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