Marcelo Responds to Criticism After Real Madrid's Defeat to Girona

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIFebruary 17, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 17: Marcelo of Real Madrid  during the La Liga Santander  match between Real Madrid v Girona at the Santiago Bernabeu on February 17, 2019 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid defender Marcelo has responded to criticism after Los Blancos were beaten 2-1 by Girona in La Liga on Sunday.

The Brazilian replied to an image on Instagram highlighting how Real Madrid have won just one of their last nine league matches that Marcelo has started, compared to a run of nine wins when Sergio Reguilon has been in the team.

The caption accompanying the image read: "Why does Marcelo continue as a starter? I love him but, damn, we have to be realistic," per Marca. Marcelo provided a sarcastic reply: "It's all my fault!!! We continue."

Real Madrid's defeat saw them stay in third place in the table and slip nine points behind leaders Barcelona in the title race. 

ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan said it could be the end of their title hopes:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

At half-time it seemed Madrid were closing on Barca and had the momentum at top of table. Now they are nine points behind and realistically completely out of the title race.

Marcelo came in for criticism for his performance:

Andy Brassell @andybrassell

Marcelo will be hung out to dry for that performance - and no, he wasn't good at all - but a lot of below-par displays let a very good Girona turn that around. Asensio, Ceballos and even Varane very sluggish.

Jose Felix Diaz at Marca said the Brazilian was "largely to blame" for the loss, and Girona striker "Portu rang rings around the Brazilian."

Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari refused to criticise his player after the defeat:

Tom Allnutt @TomAllnuttAFP

Solari, how did Marcelo play? "Well. He played well."

However, Corrigan shared how Real Madrid concede less with Reguilon on the field:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Another from @2010MisterChip - with Marcelo on pitch this season Madrid concede a goal every 52 mins. With Reguilón on the pitch it is a goal every 135 minutes.

Girona boss Eusebio Sacristan denied his team deliberately targeted the full-back during the game, per Perform (h/t AS).

"I respect the rival players a lot and someone like Marcelo is an institution," he said. "Portu plays on the right and generates a lot of problems, but this time he did on the left.

Marcelo's performance showed exactly why Solari has chosen to use Reguilon so much this season, and the Brazilian's latest showing simply highlights the fact that the youngster is the better option currently.