Real Madrid: 5 takeaways from a horrendous 2-1 loss to Espanyol

Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid
Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid needed a strong performance on the road against Espanyol this Sunday in LaLiga after a fortunate draw with Villarreal and a humbling defeat at the hands of Sheriff in the Champions League. But instead of bouncing back, Real delivered their worst performance since the humiliating Copa del Rey loss to Alcoyano earlier this year.

Los Blancos lost 2-1 at the RCDE Stadium, with only a brilliant individual goal from Karim Benzema serving as any sort of consolation for the away side. It was a truly abysmal performance from Real, who were down 2-0 when Karim scored. They could have easily been down 3-0.

Here are five takeaways from Real Madrid’s latest embarrassing loss, with critical October fixtures still on the horizon after the upcoming international “break”.

It’s time to talk about Nacho

Most of these takeaways will be of the negative variety after such a defeat, and nobody has drawn more ire from Madridistas than Nacho Fernandez. Although the defender is a beloved figure among fans and was instrumental last season when Sergio Ramos was injured, Nacho has been the team’s biggest liability so far in 2021-2022.

Nacho had major issues at either fullback spot, but he got to start at center back against Espanyol with David Alaba on the left and Lucas Vazquez on the right. He ended up playing  very poorly, culpable on the second goal by charging at Aleix Vidal and getting nutmegged in embarrassing fashion. Nacho has made this same mistake multiple times this season. The level he has shown so far this season is simply not good enough.

Perhaps he could even be ousted from the XI entirely. The ideal center back pairing is David Alaba and Eder Militao. Miguel Gutierrez is the best option on the left. Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez are necessities on the right. (Well, Vazquez is more of a necessary evil in lieu of anyone else.) Serious questions must be asked of Nacho’s place in the lineup.