Coach Fabio Capello took a gamble, but Saturday's game against Getafe didn't turn out how the attacking scheme might have suggested. In the second half, the Italian boss played the 'double nines' -Van Nistelrooy and Ronaldo- and also made room for Raúl, who started the match on the bench. The game ended with a Real Madrid team playing with four attackers, but there was no way to get the ball into ‘Pato’ Abbondanzieri's net. It's Real Madrid's first League loss of the 2006/07 season.
Fabio Capello's first goal was to piece together a defence that has been plagued by injuries. Cannavaro was finally scratched from the game and became the third starting Real Madrid defender who wouldn't see any action. Thus, the Italian boss was forced to call on his bench, and Mejía returned as right fullback, Raúl Bravo, the utility man, played as a centre back in Sergio Ramos' place, and Iván Helguera substituted the coach's fellow countryman.
The improvised defence worked in the first half. They did conceed a few chances, but Casquero was the only player to really test Iker Casillas. Any other attack was killed off before reaching the Madridista box, but Getafe didn't give in and continued to touch and pass the ball.
The attack was a complete different story. Capello rested Raúl and decided to hold back the 'double nines' attacking duo, meaning Ronaldo joined the Madridista captain on the bench for kick-off. The captain's armband found its way to Guti, but number '14' was unable to provide tempo to the game.
Getafe coach Bernd Schuster's defensive scheme was also to blame. Every threat the Whites created in front of ‘Pato’ Abbondanzieri's box in the first half was thwarted. Van Nistelrooy, Cassano, and Diarra tried to break through, but it wasn't Madrid's day in the creative department of the game. The highlight of the first half was the reliable defence. With Raúl and Ronaldo warming up on the sidelines, the attack would have to wait until the second half to show their stuff.
'Double nines' debut
With both players taking the pitch after the half, Real Madrid reorganised on the turf. Guti took over Diarra's place in the midfield, Raúl moved freely throughout the attack while exchanging positions with Beckham, and Ronie and Van Nistelrooy were set as strikers. Capello's official 'double nines' debut initially paid off as Madrid retook control of the game and Guti became more
The changes boosted Real Madrid and the team went in search of the three points. With the Ronie-Van Nistelrooy threat looming, any play that closed in on Abbondanzieri's net could spell trouble for the home side, but every clear chance of scoring was late in coming. Morever, Getafe would strike first thanks to an Alexis header off a corner kick. The home team took the lead just when Madrid were at their best, but there was still a half an hour to pull even.
Looking to equalise
Madrid did everything they could to get back into the game, but the host's defence held strong. The Whites only close call was disallowed as Van Nistelrooy was caught offside. Capello substituted Robinho for Beckham, but the Brazilian was just as unfortunate when up against the Getafe back line. The Madridistas gave it their best effort until the final whistle, but it just wasn't their night. The Coliseum curse continues as three trips to the Alfonso Pérez Stadium have resulted in zero