Real Madrid haven't exactly struggled this season as they have 12 wins in 15 matches, but they sit a disappointing third in the La Liga standings. Improving upon that position won't be easy without superstar defender Sergio Ramos.
According to Real Madrid's official Twitter account, Ramos picked up a second yellow card late in the first half of their Dec. 14 match against Osasuna.
Per Matteo Bonetti of beIN Sport, this led to the Spanish star being sent off with a red card.
Red card Sergio Ramos— Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) December 14, 2013
The loss is a major blow to Los Blancos not only against Osasuna, but in their next match against Olimpic in the Copa del Rey as well.
Will Real Madrid excel without Sergio Ramos?
Real Madrid were trailing 2-0 at the time of Ramos' ejection in the 43rd minute, and although they did get on the board prior to halftime thanks to an Isco goal, coming back with only 10 men will be a difficult endeavor.
They will have time to prepare for the next match without Ramos on Dec. 18, but that won't make things any easier. Ramos is truly the anchor the Madrid's defense, so things simply won't be the same without him.
Without Ramos, much of the burden will fall on Pepe, particularly against Osasuna. He will have to shoulder the burden against Olimpic as well, but he will likely be joined by 23-year-old Nacho Fernandez.
Nacho has a great deal of skill and potential, but he doesn't have the experience and the body of work the Ramos possesses.
As good as Ramos is, his aggression has been an issue. According to Bet365, this is the 18th red card of his career despite his relatively young age.
Real Madrid go in 2-1 down at the break & down to 10 men after Sergio Ramos picked up the 18th Red Card of his career. He's still just 27...— bet365 (@bet365) December 14, 2013
Per Matthew Morlidge of The Daily Mail following his previous red card against Galatasaray in November, fouling has been a big issue for Ramos.
As seen in the stats, Ramos has averaged a yellow card at least every three games, with a red coming every 20.
Aggression is an important part of being a defender, but Ramos takes it too far at times. His latest miscue will cost him a match and a half, and it could cost Madrid in both La Liga and the Copa del Rey.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter