Real Madrid loses to Eibar for first time in LaLiga history

Gonzalo Escalante, Sergi Enrich and Kike were on the scoresheet for Eibar, which had a memorable afternoon at home against the European champion.

Eibar players celebrate Gonzalo Escalante's goal, which gave it a 1-0 lead against Real Madrid and set the tone for a thumping 3-0 victory.   -  Getty Images

The less-fancied Eibar dismantled Real Madrid 3-0 and claimed its first-ever win over the esteemed visitor here at the Ipurua Municipal Stadium in an early Saturday kick-off.

Eibar, which had only previously scored two goals against the Los Blancos in the LaLiga, put three past an abject Madrid to inflict Santiago Solari's first managerial defeat in the five matches since taking charge. 

Eibar manager Jose Luis Mendillibar stated that his side did not fear the giant in Real Madrid and that Solari's side appeared to have similar problems which plagued his predecessor Julen Lopetegui's tenure. 

Dani Cucrella, the 20-year-old on-loan winger from Barcelona, made a telling contribution for all three goals. In the 16th minute, Cucrella sliced through Madrid's centre at pace after latching onto a loose ball inside his own area. The winger's cross from the left channel inside the Madrid box was saved well by Courtois but Dani Cabellos' clearance on the turn hit Gonzalo Escalante and rolled into the net. Celebrations were put on hold when the linesman ruled the goal offside but resumed in unison after VAR overturned the decision.

The home side maximised the compact playing surface to its advantage by closing down the Madrid forwards and midfielders quickly and denying them any kind of rhythm in the opening half. 

The second half proved to be disastrous for Madrid as Eibar scored in the 52nd and 57th minute to triple its advantage. Cucrella showed good strength to dispossess right-back Alvaro Odriozola near the edge of the box before playing in an unmarked Sergi Enrich, who smashed it past Courtois. 

For the third goal, Cucrella reacted quicker to a cross from the right and swung in an inviting cross from the left into the six-yard area which Kike had the simple task of slotting it into the back of the net ahead of Raphael Varane. 

Solari threw in Isco and Vinicuius Jr. to spark a revival but they didn't have a positive effect on Madrid, which resorted to lumping the ball upfield in the hope of disrupting Eibar's back four. Eibar supporters, probably to their disbelief, began the ole chants with the result a foregone conclusion. With this win, Eibar broke into the top half of the table in seventh and two points behind its opponent on the afternoon. Real's defeat will leave Solari with much to ponder. 

The writer is in Eibar on an invitation from Eibar and LaLiga.

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