The late withdrawal of a thigh-clutching Gareth Bale from the Real Madrid line-up was the main talking point of a fairly unremarkable 4-1 win over Getafe on Sunday night.
It was certainly the case for the English-based journalists, anyway, who travelled over to report on a warm-up from the Welshman and not much more. There are some things to cover from another Bernabeu victory.
6 - Getafe Are Giving Up
The Coliseum club always used to have something special stashed away in the team, whether it was the maverick Dani Guiza or the prolific Roberto Soldado. Unfortunately, Getafe are very uninteresting and disinterested these days. Which is a shame.
A huge lack of ambition from the club—which seems content to finish mid-table every season—sees the footballers only doing just enough to get by.
This attitude was reflected in the performance on Sunday evening with Getafe neither being overwhelmed, nor putting up a great deal of a fight in the defeat to Real Madrid. It feels like Getafe are slowly losing the will to remain in Spain’s top-flight but are not that bothered by it.
5 - Expect the Unexpected against Getafe
This particular fixture has thrown up a few eyebrow-raising moments in the recent past.
From Pepe losing the plot in spectacular fashion in 2009, to Ikechukwu Uche’s breakaway winner the year before when Real Madrid’s players were celebrating what they thought was their own goal, the clash usually came up with a talking point or two.
An uneventful three years in the Santiago Bernabeu was finally ended with Angel Lafita catching people by surprise with a shot that took a deflection of Pepe. Naturally, it was the Madrid defender who equalised the effort soon after.
4 - Karim Benzema Owes Alvaro Arbeloa a Favour
At first, not even a midweek brace against Galatasaray in the Champions League was enough to buy the Frenchman some time in the face of his harshest critics in the Santiago Bernabeu.
A misplaced pass in the first-half during a promising counter-attack combined with a bumbled effort after a fine Dani Carvajal cross saw groans and moans ringing out around the ground.
There were set to be even more howls of protest at Benzema after a missed effort in the second half, before Alvaro Arbeloa furiously led a round of applause for the striker, which led to a standing ovation when the Frenchman was substituted with ten minutes to go.
Another difficult night for Benzema eventually led to a considerably more positive end.
3 - Angel di Maria Made the Right Move
It seems that the Argentinean may well benefit from his decision to fight for his Real Madrid place, especially if the injury issues of a certain expensive Welshman continue.
The winger has been a live-wire so far this season and put in another sparkling performance to show that he really is the type of footballer who is encouraged by competition rather than frightened off.
2 - More of the Same From Cristiano Ronaldo
It is just easier to give a goal tally really, these days. 208 goals, 205 games.
1 - Will Gareth Bale Become the New Jonathan Woodgate?
Although the Welshman had a considerably better debut for Real Madrid than Woody in that no own goals were scored, nor red cards produced, Bale currently runs the risk of suffering his predecessor’s injury issues.
What the former Spurs footballer needs is a condensed preseason, but instead due to the forward’s price and media profile, Bale seems to have been rushed into action too soon.
After a summer of inactivity due to injury and a protracted transfer saga, Bale was chucked into the deep end of La Liga last weekend with a start against Villarreal after just three training sessions.
30 minutes followed in the Champions League against Galatasaray, and Bale was due to be in the starting line-up against Getafe before picking up a thigh injury during the warm-up, after the team sheets had been handed out.
What Carlo Ancelotti needs to do is ignore the pressure produced by Bale’s price tag and focus more on his physique and make sure the footballer gets fully fit before playing him again.