December 21, 2021

Frustration for Madrid at the Bernabeu as they settle for a point

It remains to be seen if any of Marco Asensio, Rodrygo, and Gareth Bale – all unavailable due to positive Covid tests – are available for Wednesday’s game away at Athletic Bilbao, but Hazard will hope he did at least enough to continue his latest attempt at a revival.

Luka Modric was also absent, allowing Fede Valverde a chance to impress in midfield, but Madrid missed the Croatian’s creativity, especially early on.

If either team were lucky in the opening 45 minutes it was Real Madrid, who could have been reduced to 10 men when Casemiro was only shown a yellow card for a leaping, two-footed challenge from behind on Alejo.

Madrid controlled the contest but struggled to break down Cádiz, who limited their opponents to speculative crosses and optimistic efforts from distance. Valverde went closest with a stinging long-range drive.

Hazard was virtually anonymous in the opening 45 minutes, without a single shot, cross, or key pass from the right-wing, where he looked lost and isolated.

But he drifted more centrally in the second half, with Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema ahead of him, and suddenly there was more of a spark.

In the 50th minute, Hazard brushed a sumptuous flick into Benzema and spun away for the return, his attempted cross for Vinicius cut out. He rolled away from his marker and skipped past another and then should have scored, flicking a header wide after being picked out by Toni Kroos.

The game was still goalless with 20 minutes left as Ancelotti throw on Luka Jovic for Valverde. Cadiz had arguably the best chance but in space just eight yards out, Alvaro Negredo fired wide.

Madrid poured forward with Benzema weaving through before scooping over. The Frenchman then had a dipping free-kick scrambled away.

Hazard chested down in the box in injury-time but the ball would not drop fast enough for him and Cadiz survived.


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