Dismal Real Madrid Surrender Treble Hopes Against Celta Vigo

Rik SharmaFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2014

AP Images

Real Madrid only have themselves to blame for throwing away La Liga.

Their last three results have been extremely poor, with draws against Valencia and Valladolid preceding what can only be described as a horror show on Sunday night at Celta Vigo.

It wasn't just the two goals gifted to Charles by Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso either side of the interval that meant this was an embarrassing showing.

It was everything from the extremely weak team put out by Carlo Ancelotti to the lack of heart and guts from almost everybody on the field.

Sergio Ramos (centre) gave away the first goal.
Sergio Ramos (centre) gave away the first goal.Lalo R. Villar/Associated Press

The main winner was Luis Enrique, Celta Vigo's manager, who has been tipped to become the next Barcelona boss.

This performance will have won him a few more supporters in Catalonia ahead of his potential return to his former side in the summer.

Real Madrid were hampered by injuries, sure, but to name Gareth Bale on the bench and then refuse to introduce him as a substitute was a strange move by Ancelotti.

If he was not going to play Real Madrid's record signing when losing to Celta Vigo, while both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid stuttered against Elche and Malaga respectively, why even bother putting him on the bench?

Instead of Bale, youngster Willian Jose played instead.

While he didn't do too badly in his limited appearance time, it signified Real giving up on La Liga.

Sami Khedira and Alvaro Arbeloa started the game after long spells out injured and it showed Ancelotti was using it as an opportunity to manage his squad rather than as a must-win battle.

Sami Khedira made his return from injury.
Sami Khedira made his return from injury.Lalo R. Villar/Associated Press

To be fair to Real Madrid, they did have a string of absent stars.

While it might not have been worth playing stars who could do more damage to themselves, Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel Di Maria, Karim Benzema, Pepe and Raphael Varane were just a few players who could all have helped.

Statistically expecting both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid to fail to win would have been optimistic to say the least, but given recent results in La Liga, Madrid knew anything could happen.

So did Charles when he saw Ramos walking along the edge of his own box with the ball.

He nipped in, took the ball, rounded the goalkeeper and rifled it into the top corner.

And Charles could barely contain his glee in the second half when Alonso rolled the ball into his path when trying to play it back to Diego Lopez.

But even though they had so many players out injured, there was no excuse for the shoddy performances from the other players.

Marcelo, to his credit, was impressive.

The Brazilian created a couple of excellent opportunities for his team-mates and was generally a threat down the left.

Marcelo played well down the left.
Marcelo played well down the left.Lalo R. Villar/Associated Press

Perhaps he was playing for his place in the Champions League final.

Fabio Coentrao, who came on as a substitute, is sometimes preferred in the bigger matches as he is considered a better defender.

Modric, who has had an excellent season, wasn't particularly impressive but also not himself culpable for the bluntness of Madrid's performance.

The midfield trio of Khedira, Alonso and Casemiro has plenty of force but not much guile.

Obviously a very different Madrid side will play in the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid.

And if they win that, then this shambles against Celta will be forgotten.