MADRID (Reuters) – Talking points from Saturday’s La Liga matches: Real Madrid and Barcelona each wore pink jerseys in their respective games on Saturday but the unusual fashion experiment did not turn out well for either side.
Madrid, who wore their pink kit to show support for World Breast Cancer day, fell to a shock 1-0 defeat at home to promoted Cadiz, while a few miles down the road Barca, also sporting pink, then lost 1-0 at Getafe.
It was the first time the two giants of Spanish football had both lost league matches on the same day without scoring since May 6, 2000, when Barca went down 2-0 to Rayo Vallecano and Madrid were beaten 1-0 by Alaves.
The twin results showcased both side’s weaknesses at the worst possible time, a week before they meet each other in the ‘Clasico’, Spanish football’s showcase game.
GRIEZMANN COMPLAINTS LOOK WORSE AFTER GLARING MISS
Talk of Antoine Griezmann’s best position had dominated the build-up to Barca’s game at Getafe after the striker had scored for France against Croatia and appeared to send a message to coach Ronald Koeman for not playing him in his favoured role.
The Frenchman’s grievances looked woefully out of place, however, when a glorious chance fell his way early in the game at Getafe only for him to blast the ball way over the bar.
With Philippe Coutinho starting on the bench and Ousmane Dembele playing on the right-wing, this was Griezmann’s chance to really show that his troubling form for Barca was all down to playing out of position.
But he failed to take it and remains goalless after four league starts this season, making his 120 million transfer from Atletico Madrid in 2019 look ever more misguided.
“You can’t judge a player’s career for not scoring one chance, but Griezmann’s opportunities are drying up and his dream of succeeding at Barca is drifting further and further away,” said Catalan newspaper Sport.
ZIDANE NO LONGER ABLE TO RELY ON MADRID FRINGE PLAYERS
Real coach Zinedine Zidane has long been an advocate of rotating his squad to keep his top players sharp, but the harrowing first-half display against Cadiz showed this policy is now fraught with risk.
The Frenchman hauled off three players plus an injured Sergio Ramos at the start of the second half after his side had conceded five clear chances to Cadiz and he later remarked that Madrid was lucky to not be 3-0 down by halftime.
Zidane had great success rotating his side in the double-winning season of 2016/2017 when the likes of Lucas Vazquez and Isco used to shine when given the chance, but both players were quickly hooked at halftime after poor displays in the 1-0 loss.
Marcelo meanwhile offered little of the defensive security first choice Ferland Mendy provides, while Nacho Fernandez’s days as a reliable replacement seem a thing of the past, as he was bossed around by Cadiz midfielder Alex, his own younger brother.