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07.12.2013 » Xativa 0-0 Real Madrid. A very pale performance from the Merengues

Real Madrid line-up, in the Copa del Rey 2013-2014

Real Madrid didn't get off to a great start in the Copa del Rey this year, after being held to a goalless draw against a 3rd-tier Olimpic Xativa side. The Merengues biggest stars missed out this game, as Cristiano Ronaldo was ruled out due to a suspension still coming from last year and Gareth Bale got caught with flu just the night before.

There's a reason why many people prefer not to watch Real Madrid games whenever they know ahead of time that players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Xabi Alonso are not going to play. For several different motives combined, Carlo Ancelotti gave an opportunity to several "Canteranos" to start this Saturday's Copa del Rey first leg game against Olimpic Xativa, but the final outcome was a very weak performance and a goalless draw. The two teams will meet again at the Bernabéu on December 18 and Real Madrid will certainly look forward to do it right this time. Ronaldo will still have to miss it though, as he will be forced to sit out one last game in the Copa del Rey, due to the red-card suspension that he earned in last year's final, against Atletico Madrid.

Olympic Xativa 0-0 Real Madrid: Highlights:

Real Madrid made it to the Copa del Rey's final last year, but in order to do so, they've managed to stay away from the typical complacency attitude that tends to affect the competition's favorite teams when they face minor sides during the early stages. We can't really say that the Merengues have compromised anything at all just yet, but they should have done a lot better than they did last night, even though they couldn't count with the help of several usual starters.

Carlo Ancelotti picked a young line-up ahead of this away game against Olimpic Xativa, with players like Casemiro, Moratta or Jesé, all starting from kick-off. Iker Casillas took Diego López place on the goal, Arbeloa was the left-back, Nacho and Sergio Ramos partnered up in the centre and Carvajal was left with the right wing. In midfield, the Merengues' engine game was handed to Illarramendi, Casemiro and Isco, while the attacking front was filled in by Angel Di María, Jesé Rodríguez and Alvaro Morata.

Real Madrid midfielder Isco

The truth is that this has been one of the most "sterile" games we've seen from Real Madrid not only this season, but in the past years. There was virtually no end-product in the visitors' game and one of the few positive things that we can at least strip away from this first leg match was the defensive solidity at the back. Neither Real Madrid nor Xativa managed to create real dangerous situations to allow them to break the deadlock and the result ended up being an inevitable goalless draw, that leaves everything open for the 2nd leg at the Bernabéu.

However and in Real Madrid's defense, it's important to note that this game has been played on a very small sized football pitch, as well as on an artificial turf. Having in mind that only the home side is actually used to play in these very particular conditions week after week, it's only logical to also be a bit condescending on Madrid and give Xativa its fair due of merit for holding up to an historical draw and keeping their hopes alive for the second leg.

Modric passing quality

Real Madrid line-up vs Olimpic Xativa:

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas
Defenders: Arbeloa, Nacho, Sergio Ramos, Carvajal
Midfielders: Illarramendi, Casemiro, Isco
Attackers: Angel Di María, Jesé Rodriguez, Morata.

Match stats provided by www.ronaldo7.net
Olimpic Xativa
vs
Real Madrid
0
Goals
0
-
Shots
-
-
Shots on goal
-
-
Corner kicks
-
-
Fouls commited
-
-
Yellow cards
-
-
Red cards
-
-
Ball possession
-

Cristiano Ronaldo next game will be for Real Madrid against Copenhagen, for the UEFA Champions League (next Tuesday, December 10, 2013). You can watch Juventus live stream, Copenhagen vs Real Madrid, Galatasaray vs Juventus, Manchester United vs Shakhtar Donetsk and Arsenal vs Everton, all matches provided from our live streaming section.

Real Madrid next game:
Copenhagen vs Real Madrid
kick-off time (10-12-2013):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 00:45
Spain
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 20:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 19:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-3: 15:45
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 14:45
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7: 11:45
Beijing (China) | GMT+8: 02:45

Sources: ronaldo7.net / realmadrid.com / foxsports.com / insidespanishfootball.com

Angel Di María running away from a defender

Isco in between two defenders

Karim Benzema disappointment with goalless draw between Xativa and Real Madrid, at the Copa del Rey

Jesé Rodríguez holding up to the ball

Marcelo being pulled by his jersey, in Olimpic Xativa vs Real Madrid

Alvaro Morata in a Real Madrid blue jersey, 2013-2014

Isco trying to nutmeg a defender

Marcelo ball control

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