Real Madrid Solari suffers first loss as Los Blancos manager at Eibar
Real Madrid’s renaissance under new manager Santiago Solari came to a crashing halt with an embarassing 3-0 defeat at Eibar on Saturday afternoon at the Municipal de Irupua in Eibar.
The Basque hosts were excellent, led by Barcelona loanee Marc Cucurella, who set the table for all three Eibar goals scored by Gonzalo Escalante, Sergi Enrich and Kike Garcia, giving Eibar their first ever win over Real.
For Real, it was a shockingly poor display. Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio were anonymous in attack, while the midfield woes seen during the Julen Lopetegui era reared their head. After four consecutive wins in all competitions, Solari suffered his first defeat as Real boss and it will surely bring its fair share of scrutiny due to the manner in which it happened.
Marcelo made a return to the starting XI after missing the preview few encounters due to injury. Dani Ceballos was also given the nod over Casemiro in midfield, while Adrian Odriozola was slotted in ahead of the recovering Dani Carvajal.
There was plenty of action in the early minutes, with Kike Garcia hitting a long-range bullet that Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois tipped to the post, while a Karim Benzema effort had to be cleared off the goal-line by the Eibar defence.
Eibar’s appetite for a goal would not be denied and the Basques opened the scoring thanks to a brilliant collective play, starting with Fabian Orellana feeding Cucurella, whose cross from the left connected with Kike Garcia. Courtois made the initial save, but Gonzalo Escalante was there to bundle it home past the lunging Ceballos to give Eibar a 1-0 lead. Real lacked sharpness and through the first half it was evident which team had spent more time together during the two-week international break.
That carried into the second half and a poor pass deep in his own half from Toni Kroos allowed Eibar to tally their second of the day. The German looped a ball cross-field to Odriozola, who was quickly dispossessed by Cucurella and the Barcelona loanee found Sergi Enrich, whose shot banged off the post and in for a 2-0 Eibar lead.
Solari was then forced into his first change, as an injury sent Odriozola off and Carvajal was brought on with no warm-up. But things would only get worse for Real and to the amazement of everyone, it was 3-0 to Eibar when Cucurella again set the table for a goal; the floppy-haired winger sizzled a cross in front of goal and Kike Garcia stepped in front of Raphael Varane to redirect it in for the goal.
Real were non-existent on the pitch and Orellana had it all there to notch a fourth for the hosts, but the Chilean was denied by Courtois. Moments later Solari made his second change, with the disappointing Luka Modric giving up his spot to Isco before the final substitution was made with Marco Asensio off and Vinicius on.
But the only thing Real could muster was playing into Benzema in an offside position, which kept comically happening, perfectly summing up what was a forgettable afternoon for Los Blancos.
Real will look to pick up the pieces on Tuesday when they return to the friendly confines of the Champions League against Roma.
3.- Eibar: Riesgo; Ruben Pena, Oliveira, Ramis, Jose Angel; Orellana (Sergio, min. 83), Jordan, Escalante, Cucurella; Kike Garcia (De Blasis, min. 88), Sergi Enrich (Charles, min. 74)
0.- Real Madrid: Courtois; Odriozola (Carvajal, min. 55), Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Ceballos, Kroos, Modric (Isco, min. 63); Asensio (Vinicius, min. 75), Bale, Benzema.
Goals: 1-0, min. 16: Escalante; 2-0, min. 52: Enrich; 3-0, min. 57: Kike Garcia
Referee: Martinez Munuera (Valencian). Yellow Cards: Cucurella (Min. 34) for Eibar, Jordan (Min. 36) for Eibar, Bale (Min. 44) for Real Madrid. Red cards: None
Stadium: Municipal de Ipurua