Real Madrid – La Liga Raul Varela gives his opinion
The only milkmaid that did its job on Monday was the one that transported the Mossos d’Esquadra to the offices of the Camp Nou, looking for papers that corroborate the indications of existing crime in the so-called ‘Barcagate’ that is being investigated in judicial headquarters.
With Josep Maria Bartomeu and Jaume Masferrer, his adviser, spending the night in the dungeons of the Travessera de Les Corts and Diego Simeone watching TV at home with a beer and I suppose a light dinner salad, Real Madrid failed to close in on the leaders, just a year since Mariano Diaz and Vinicius Junior beat Barcelona in the worst Clasico in living memory.
It wasn’t a bad game from Real Madrid. No. Zinedine Zidane, who did everything right in the build-up, blew it when in first-half stoppage time he tried to do what he failed to do with the change of formation. Acknowledging the mistake was the right thing to do. La Real, scalded in Europe, knew how to suffer and wait for their moment to arrive. And it came. Just two chances, a goal and a very near miss, that revealed an aspiring champion who had nothing to spare to beat the bottom team and who lacked a lot to come back against a Europa League hopeful.
When your second top scorer is called ‘own goal’ you have an unsolvable problem. In the absence of Sergio Ramos, the captain who still hasn’t clarified his future, Casemiro and his stampedes are almost the only way to make the opposing goalkeepers work. A poor return.
The ‘Atleti champions’ naysayers have no arguments left. It is true that Karim Benzema will return at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, as it is also true that Kieran Trippier will return, coincidentally absent in the eight worst games for Atleti, where they have conceded what they have never conceded before.
Barcelona, third in the table but second in the standings, are bleeding at an institutional level and it seems unlikely that sooner rather than later it will not take its toll on the day-to-day running of the club.
I deduce, therefore, that Aesop, the Greek fabulist who wrote the tale of the milkmaid, was an Atleti fan. Not for nothing was the ‘match by match’ philosophy inspired by his equally classic tale of the cicada and the ant.