Real Madrid vs Club Brugge Areola made a crucial save at 2-0 down
Real Madrid once again slipped up in this year’s Champions League, going 2-0 down at home to Club Brugge before salvaging a 2-2 draw, which means they have picked up just one point from a possible six.
The fans at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu no longer know what to expect with this team, but they seem to be unified on one thing: they have grown increasingly frustrated with Thibaut Courtois.
The Belgian goalkeeper was substituted at half-time after a dismal first 45 minutes, with Alphonse Areola coming on and making a wonderful save from a one-on-one to keep Madrid in the game at 2-0 down.
Zinedine Zidane said that there wouldn’t be a debate between the sticks this year, yet that has become the case.
As noted, the Bernabeu crowd have not been impressed by Courtois, despite him keeping clean sheets away at Sevilla and Atletico Madrid in recent weeks, as he seems to lack the security that they desire.
Courtois came off at half-time with stomach problems, and given that Areola performed well in the 2-0 win against Osasuna and then made the aforementioned crucial save to prevent Brugge from making it 3-0, will Zidane consider making a change?
Even against his compatriots, Eden Hazard didn’t look like the player that so many were expecting when he joined Madrid.
Zidane played him for the full 90 minutes, yet the forward rarely took responsibility and continuously looked for his teammates, rather than put Los Blancos on his back.
Hazard still seems to be lacking a bit of fitness, but things need to improve soon.
The brace that Emmanuel Dennis scored will be something he will always remember and cherish, although the goals themselves were a little peculiar.
The first came in a one-on-one with Courtois and he seemed to stumble but get a strong enough connection on the ball to wrongfoot the Belgian.
Dennis‘ second goal looked as if he was about to fall over in the build-up, yet he turned it into a wonderful finish.
Dennis had the chance to seal his hat-trick in the 52nd minute, but with Areola now in goal, the Madrid ‘keeper pulled off a fantastic save at 2-0.
Moments later Sergio Ramos pulled one back, and then in the 70th minute Dennis was withdrawn with the scores at 2-1 to Brugge.
‘I scored two goals at the Bernabeu and when they took me off, we were winning 2-1,’ he will be able to tell his grandchildren.
Sergio Ramos returned after his suspension, having had to watch the difficult defeats to Ajax last year and PSG this season from the stands.
The centre-back has played a key role in Madrid‘s solidity at the back in recent weeks, keeping clean sheets against Sevilla, Osasuna and Atletico Madrid, although he was unable to help stop Brugge from finding the back of the net.
However, Ramos‘ goal gave Madrid a lifeline and it seemed to inspire his teammates on their way to salvaging a 2-2 draw.