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Eibar bring Solari and Real Madrid crashing back down to earth

Matt Morley by Matt Morley @rfutbol - 0 6,818

Pin Escalante opened the scoring for the hosts in the first half. EFE
Escalante opened the scoring for the hosts in the first half. EFE

Eibar bring Solari and Real Madrid crashing back down to earth

Matt Morley by Matt Morley @rfutbol - 0 6,818

Minnows Eibar cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Real Madrid at Ipurua on Saturday lunchtime as the European champions' defensive frailties were once again cruelly exposed.

Real Madrid went into the game looking to continue their 100% record under Santiago Solari following his permanent appointment over the international break and having never been defeated by José Luís Mendilibar's side.

However, the hosts came out firing and came close to taking the lead inside three minutes as Kike's ambitious volley from 30 yards crashed back into play off the inside of the post.

The home side took the game to their opponents, pressing high and affording Madrid the bare minimum of respect, though they were almost caught out at the other end when José Ángel had to be alert to clear Karim Benzema's effort off the line with 11 minutes elapsed.

There looked to be little danger to Real Madrid when they swung in a corner with 16 minutes gone, but one slick counter-attack later and a VAR review later and they were a goal behind, Gonzalo Escalante bundling home at the far post after Kike had been denied by Thibaut Courtois.

The goal gave an already impressive Eibar side a further shot in the arm and they held the visitors at bay for the remained of the half, with a Gareth Bale free-kick that was easily saved by Asier Riesgo their only real effort of note.

Despite being behind, Solari opted against making changes at the interval and must have been left ruing that decision after two quick-fire goals took the game away from his side.

The first was all Madrid's own doing, as they somehow managed to concede form their own throw-in. Alvaro Odriozola miscontrolled the ball and the impressive Marc Cucurella seized on it, before squaring for Sergi Enrich to fire across Courtois and into the far corner via a kiss off the post.

To make matters worse, Odriozola managed to injure himself in the process of having his pocket picked and he was forced to be withdrawn, with the defensive reshuffle clearly doing nothing to improve Madrid's solidity as Kike soon made it 3-0.

Cucurella was involved again as he crossed low from the left, with Kike ghosting in on the shoulder of Raphael Varane to steal in and tap into the unguarded net from close range.

In truth, there was no sign of a Real Madrid comeback in the 30 minutes that ensued, with Eibar missing chances to pile yet further misery on the 'Meregues'.

Fabian Orellana was brilliantly denied by Courtois after leaving Dani Ceballos for dead with an outrageous nutmeg, before Kike and Charles both went close to adding to the scoreline.

The victory moves Eibar into seventh in LaLiga, just two points behind Real Madrid, who face a tricky trip to Rome in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Matt Morley

Matt Morley

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