Elche CF, Beaten by Benzema
Last weekend Elche CF travelled by train to Madrid to take on Zinedine Zidane's team in the Alfredo di Stefano, their training stadium.
Hope was high among Escriba's men, after spending the week out of the relegation zone following their win against Sevilla. The gaffer opted for the same starting line up, just switching Josema out for the fully recovered Johan Mojica on the left side.
The first half passed with little to comment on. Elche held their defensive form, but on the offensive side lacked speed and precision. Real had greater territorial and ball control, but were without rhythm.
After half time, the whites stepped up a gear, but were well resisted. Both teams created more chances, although Elche were the first to convert! Tete Morente took the perfect corner finding the space into which Dani Calvo sprung, his header entering the net after hitting the crossbar. It was his second goal from a set piece since the arrival of the tactician Escriba. Elche were able to dream of a historic triumph.
Zidane reacted by substituting on his star players, Modric, Hazard and Rodrygo, which he had hoped to leave in reserve for the Champions League. It took just 10 minutes for Real Madrid to level the playing field with a header from their top scorer, Benzema. Escriba made 4 changes to reinforce the team, slow down the game and to reignite the historic triumph dream. The crushing blow came at the start of injury time, and again from the French man. On the edge of the area Benzema received the ball from the chest of Rodryo, and sent a violent volley with his left foot, screeching in after hitting the post.
A cruel outcome for Elche CF, who put on a meritorious performance against a star studded team. To put things in perspective, according to the Covid downward adjusted salary caps, Madrid are in pole position with a salary budget of 473,343,000€, whilst Elche are in bottom place with a salary budget of 32,250,000€, a difference of 440 million euros.
There are two games for the Franjiverdes this week. On Wednesday 17th they will travel to Sevilla for a 18:00 kick off, and on Sunday 21st they will also be back to Madrid to play Getafe at 13:00.
As soon as spectators are allowed back into the stadiums, EuroTourGuide will once again be offering Coach Tours with Match Tickets to support Elche CF. Please sign up to receive your free newsletter on www.eurotourguide.com