Marc Cucurella, Eibar Shock Real Madrid 3-0 for 1st Time Ever in La Liga

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2018

EIBAR, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 24: Gonzalo Escalante of SD Eibar celebrates 1-0 during the La Liga Santander  match between Eibar v Real Madrid at the Estadio Municipal de Ipurua on November 24, 2018 in Eibar Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Eibar shocked Real Madrid in La Liga on Saturday, beating Los Blancos 3-0 to record their first-ever win over the giants in the league. Barcelona loanee Marc Cucurella played a part in all three goals, orchestrating the upset. 

Gonzalo Escalante gave the hosts a shock lead on the counter after just 16 minutes, and Sergi Enrich and Kike added to the lead after the break. The Basques dominated Los Blancos for large stretches of the match, winning almost every midfield battle.

Cucurella, the Barcelona man spending the year at Eibar, was the standout:

Samuel Marsden @samuelmarsden

Make that all three goals 👀

As shared by The Spanish Football Podcast, the dominant showing was a historic one for the minnows: 

The Spanish Football Podcast @tsf_podcast

First time Eibar have ever scored two goals in a game against Real Madrid.

The win puts some unexpected daylight between Eibar and the clubs in the relegation zone.


Isco Needs to Leave Real in January

One of the big questions heading into this match was whether new Real manager Santiago Solari would keep Isco on the bench after the international break, and the tactician once again opted for a team without the Spanish star on Saturday.

As noted by Goal's Guillem Balague, the former Malaga man is still waiting for his first start since Solari replaced Julen Loptegui:

Goal UK @GoalUK

0️⃣ starts under Solari Where does Isco go from here? By @GuillemBalague https://t.co/zRPmGbaPJM

Isco has been in this situation before. He has spent years moving in and out of the starting XI, biding his time and working on his craft. Every time his situation changed, he said the right things in the press, and the fans quickly grew to love him for it.

But Isco is no longer a prospect; he's now 26 years old and still waiting to break into the group of Real's biggest stars—the group of untouchable players who are the first names on the teamsheet.

His departure seems long overdue and should finally come in January. There's more than a handful of clubs in Europe that could use his services, and with UEFA doing away with cup-tied regulations in the Champions League, he could be one of the top impact players available on the market in mid-season.


Llorente, not Ceballos, Should be Casemiro's Backup

Dani Ceballos' emergence as a genuine contributor for Los Blancos has been one of the best stories to come out of the capital so far this season, but on Saturday, his limitations were made painfully obvious.

The Spaniard was tasked with replacing the injured Casemiro in a more defensive role than he's used to, and it quickly became clear he's not suited to be a holding midfielder:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Escalante dancing past Ceballos not a good look for someone playing holding midfield.

Ceballos had a nightmare outing defensively, getting caught out on the counter for the first goal and losing his man time and time again. He was also partly at fault for the third.

Solari didn't have an alternative option to go to during the match, with Marcos Llorentenot even making the bench:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Marcos Llorente not even on the Madrid bench - with Casemiro injured - means he surely must be on his way soon. Turns 24 in January, hardly a kid any more.

The 23-year-old impressed on loan at Deportivo Alaves but has barely featured for Real since returning. Saturday's match was the perfect opportunity to see him in action in a meaningful match, and instead, fans had to watch as Ceballos desperately chased after opponents.

Llorente should be Casemiro's main backup moving forward. Even if Solari doesn't think he has a real future with Los Blancos, it couldn't hurt to highlight his abilities in a few matches and build up his value ahead of the January window.


What's Next?

Real visit AS Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday, while Eibar travel to face Rayo Vallecano in La Liga on Friday.