The Atlético de Madrid fans couldn’t keep the smiles from their faces. It wasn’t the fact that they had just beaten an important rival by four goals but something else. The smile was the same across Madrid for fans of Getafe and Rayo Vallecano and indeed for many fans who tend to follow anyone apart from a certain side that plays in white. The mighty Real Madrid had dropped points and now they were bottom. Not bottom of La Liga but bottom of the group of teams from Madrid. Whilst some are saying that La Liga is over it appears that there is a desperate need to remind fans that Mourinho suffered a similar blip last season, albeit a little further into the season, and they came back and won La Liga by a record number of points and goals. It maybe also important to bring up that old football term ‘Leagues are won in May not August.’ It is for that reason that fans from all three Madrid clubs and other La Liga clubs are celebrating, laughing and enjoying the moment of Real Madrid’s misfortune because they are not naïve or foolish. Real Madrid are down but they will be back and back with a bang.
It maybe also important to bring up that old football term ‘Leagues are won in May not August.’
Over the past few season’s La Liga has become a two horse race as Barca and Real Madrid battle it out whilst the other 18 teams look to win the so called ‘Other League’. The dominance of the two has gotten stronger and stronger as their grip on La Liga is almost at the point of strangling all the life out of the league. Last season it was deemed that a draw was starting to have the feel of a defeat and if that may be so then what does that make a defeat? After just two weeks Real Madrid find themselves five points off Barcelona after drawing their first home game of the season to Valencia and after a shock defeat to lowly Madrid rivals Getafe. Getafe, a team from the suburbs of Madrid, could only half fill their ground as the La Liga Champions went one up courtesy of Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuaín. It was seen as mere formality that Los Blancos would waltz to victory but sometimes things at Getafe take an unexpected turn. Last season they beat Barcelona at home and also Atlético de Madrid. While the victory against Barca stole the headlines, it was their victory against Atlético that was truly impressive after being reduced to 10 and a goal down.
The dominance of the two has gotten stronger and stronger as their grip on La Liga is almost at the point of strangling all the life out of the league.
They now can add Real Madrid to the list but as is always the case in Spain it is the fact that Real Madrid lost and not that some else won that grabs the headlines. Mourinho was brutally honest in his post-game press conference when he admitted that Getafe were deserved winners and that his side were poor and failed on many fronts. The Madrid based press was equally critical with MARCA saying that Real Madrid lost because they failed to learn from past mistakes. While not at crisis level yet, nobody is denying that Real Madrid need to get their act together fast but, there is also the simple truth as Mourinho said on Sunday night: It’s not how you start the league, it’s how you finish it.
On Monday morning Real Madrid organised the player presentation of Luka Modric. For many it was the club trying to paper over the defeat to Getafe. While the club have strongly denied it there can be no doubt that this was indeed one of the reasons why the presentation was hastily announced. Tomorrows papers will be full of previews, interviews and articles on what the Croatian can bring to the Madrid side, thus making Getafe all yesterday’s news. There is another reason that Modric was presented so early on a Monday although that reason seems to be ignored. Real Madrid have a Super Cup tie midweek and wanted Modric to join up as quickly as possible. Right now he will have to hit the road running as Real Madrid face Barca at home and what better way to show that it business per usual and that it was nothing but a small blip than to win the first piece of silverware on offer? We might even find Mourinho quoting Mark Twain come May.
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