26 August 2012
Real Madrid slipped to defeat against Getafe (2-1) in a match in which it was superior to its opponent during an entertaining first half in which it could have gone to the dressing room with a bigger lead than 0-1 thanks to Gonzalo Higuaín’s goal. However, the Whites did not finish off the match and were surprised by two goals scored on the counterattack in the second half.
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The Whites’ team for the match against Getafe included Marcelo, Lass, Di María and Higuaín, who did not play in the Supercup match at the Camp Nou. Mourinho selected Pipita and Cristiano Ronaldo, synonymous with goals when they face Getafe. The home side, strengthened with quality players such as Xavi Torres or Lafita, always play with more fight when playing against their neighbours. This meant that during the first moments of the match both teams shared possession of the ball; however Madrid looked the more dangerous of the teams in attack. A shot from distance by Ronaldo in minute 3, which went over Moyá’s crossbar, was then followed three minutes later by the first controversial moment of the game. Xabi Alonso played a pass to Higuaín, who was brought down by Abraham in the area, committing a penalty; however Pérez Lasa did not see it this way.
After this period of uncertainty, Real Madrid took hold completely of the match and started to demonstrate the team’s speed. Lass took control of the midfield and snuffed out Xavi Torres and Lafita, stealing and recovering the ball. The movement of Di María, playing on the right wing, was a constant threat to the Getafe defence overwhelmed by the Whites’ skill. In minute 16, Özil could have put the team ahead after a spectacular move, which included a double one-two with Ronaldo, but his shot from almost within the goalmouth inexplicably hit the home side’s cross bar.
Madrid had so far dominated the clash. Whenever Getafe attempted to counterattack they were met by the pairing of Ramos and Albiol. The Valencian showed himself to be up to the challenge. A Madrid goal could be sensed by all those attending the Coliseum. The siege bore fruit after the halfway point of the first half. 27 minutes had passed when Lass recovered another ball in midfield that he passed to Di María. The Argentine, once again demonstrating his excellent footballing vision, played a measured pass into the area to his fellow countryman Higuaín, who controlled the ball magnificently, held off the challenge from Alexis and went past Moyá to put the ball in the back of the net and make the score 0-1.
The goal did not sate Real Madrid’s hunger for goals in what remained of the first half, nor did it change Getafe’s mentality. Luis Garcia’s players continued to wait for their opponent to slip up in order to create chances. The possession said it all: 26 to 74%. However, they did not trouble Casillas, who was a mere spectator. Getafe’s best chance was a header by Abraham that went wide in minute 34. Ronaldo, from a direct free kick, could have doubled the lead before the break, but his powerful shot was cleared by the Getafe goalkeeper.
After the break, Mourinho’s players, who deserved better luck up until that point, were surprised by two isolated moves by Getafe. The first, a free kick taken from the left wing by Barrada in minute 52, which was headed by Varela out of the reach of Casillas. Getafe were now drawing the game with only their first shot on goal. The second, in minute 75, came despite Madrid being in complete control of the ball. With Getafe stuck in their half, Colunga, who had replace Miku minutes before, received a pass from Xavi Torres and his control, with the help of his hand, enabled him to launch a counterattack that ended with Barrada shooting past Casillas to make the score 2-1.
The Whites approached their opponent’s penalty area with ease, but could not find the final pass. With Benzema, Callejón and Morata, Mourinho’s three changes in the second half, accompanying Cristiano Ronaldo and Higuaín in attack, the Whites gave it everything but it was not to be their day and their lack of accuracy denied them the opportunity of taking any points from the Coliseum. In added time, the match took an odd turn with Pérez Lasa sending off Coentrao, who was sat on the bench.
Now we look to Wednesday and the return leg of the Supercup against Barcelona, where the Bernabeu will once again be decisive for the Whites in order for them to win their first title of the season.