Barcelona 2-2 Real Madrid | La Liga
Álvaro Arbeloa is jockeying Alexis Sánchez, Michael Essien doesn’t notice Andrés Iniesta.
Alexis cuts in, passes to Iniesta whose first touch pass nutmegs Xabi Alonso and reaches Martín Montoya. He touches it back to Xavi, the midfield maestro plays a slanted pass to Pedro, who backheels it to Montoya—and the 21-year-old defender curls a shot beyond Iker Casillas’ reach but is denied by the crossbar.
Essien’s lapse in concentration could’ve cost Real Madrid dearly.
Prior to Barcelona’s exquisite tiki-taka football, Essien once again had no idea that Iniesta was lurking behind him.
A few minutes later, Essien is inexplicably caught up field as Iniesta cuts Real Madrid wide-open with a through ball that leads to Pedro almost scoring a late dramatic winner.
What on earth is Essien doing? He’s subbed on to consolidate the draw, yet he makes two inexcusable defensive mistakes in only six minutes of play.
It’s unacceptable from the Ghanaian, who knows from firsthand experience how lethal Iniesta is when given an opportunity—6 May, 2009. That day, Essien’s miscued clearance allowed Lionel Messi to pass it to Iniesta and the rest is history.
Ajax 1-4 Real Madrid | UEFA Champions League
The awkward moment when Christian Eriksen makes more tackles than Essien—albeit, the Dane registered one tackle compared to Ghanaian’s zero.
Essien was outsmarted by Eriksen several times.
To cap off a terrible night for Essien, he lost Niklas Moisander during Eriksen’s corner, allowing Ajax to score their only goal.
Rayo Vallecano 0-2 Real Madrid | La Liga
As José Carlos swings in the cross, Essien doesn’t track Andrija Delibasic, who blindsides Pepe for the uncontested header, forcing Iker Casillas into a good reaction save.
From the rebound, Mikel Labaka would’ve scored if not for Alonso’s clearance off the line.
Essien made one tackle and intercepted two passes whereas Rayo's Javi Fuego made nine tackles and accumulated four interceptions.