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Soccer

Ronaldo, Referee Rescue Real Madrid

Ronaldo

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Real Madrid were minutes away from suffering a shocking 1-1 draw at Elche after the home side found their equalizer in stoppage time. Then, the referee awarded Madrid the softest of penalties when Pepe was tangled up with an opposing player in the box. Ultimately, Ronaldo hit home the spot-kick for the 2-1 win.

The home side were either underestimated or Real simply decided not to play at their very best. The fact that it took a last-second lucky penalty kick to to give them all three points really shows that Madrid are not as hot as most think they are right now. The team is talented and very solid in every position, but sometimes when opponents do not show fear, they are overwhelmed by the pressure — they are almost overrated and over-respected.

The only reason why they crushed Galatasaray a week ago in Istanbul by a score of 6-1 is due to the fact that the home side showed them way too much respect and were afraid to score more than one goal… Or so it seemed at least. Six goals with the defense literally watching the world-class stars instead of fighting them hard is what handed them that embarrassing defeat.

Today’s game against Elche was the sixth La Liga match of Madrid’s campaign, and a win is exactly what they needed ahead of this Saturday’s Madrid derby clash against Atletico Madrid on home ground. Their opponents are just two points behind them and actually defeated them on this ground in last season’s Copa Del Rey final.

Well, with all of that in mind, it is no secret that both sides will have it all to play for… But it is truly hard to predict who will win it as both sides are playing some solid soccer without making too many errors on their own end.