Ledesma’s netminding helps Cadiz break Real Madrid’s 10-match win streak
Madrid, Dec 19 (EFE).- Real Madrid was unable to keep its 10-match winning streak going on Sunday as Cadiz fought the capital squad to a scoreless draw, even though the hosts fired 36 mostly long shots on goal, with visiting goaltender Jeremias Ledesma doing yeoman’s work to fend off the attack.
It was a frustrating night for Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu before 38,818 fans, and – although they dominated the match throughout – they couldn’t seem to find the twine and saw their lead atop the La Liga table slip to six points over second-place Sevilla, with one game less in hand.
During the first half, the capital squad kept possession of the ball for 82 percent of the time, but – given that the team was missing, among others, Luka Modric – Carlo Ancelotti’s men struggled and were unable to get anything going.
Fede Valverde was in for Modric, and Ancelotti upped the rhythm after the break, with sparks struck by Vinicius, although he was unable to find partners with whom he could manufacture scoring opportunities.
Madrid had a little bit of luck when Casemiro was handed only a yellow card on what should have been a red after a rather egregious challenge from behind on Alejo.
Eden Hazard was among the starting 11 this time around, and although he was a non-entity during the first half, he had a pretty good second half, all things considered, and may be on the way to earning back his starting spot.
Hazard almost had a chance to snatch a win when he knocked down the ball in the box in late stoppage time but could not fire fast enough to score.
Madrid’s Marco Asensio, Rodrygo and Gareth Bale all tested positive for Covid and might be unavailable for Wednesday’s road game against Athletic Bilbao,
The result saw Real Madrid’s advantage over Sevilla cut to six points after their nearest rival downed Atletico de Madrid on Saturday, while Cadiz dropped to the 19th spot with just 14 points.
After the match, Ancelotti, said that “there were just no chances. These are the games we struggle with most.”
Real Madrid: Courtois; Lucas Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Mendy (Nacho, m.83); Casemiro, Kroos, Valverde (Jovic, m.70); Vinicius, Hazard and Benzema.
Cadiz: Ledesma; Akapo, Fali, Cala, Espino; Alarcon (Marcos Mauro, m.90+3), Jonsson (Bastida, m.85); Alejo (Chapela, m.70), Alex Fernandez; Sobrino and Lozano (Negredo, m.46).