Real Madrid Fall to Shock Defeat Against Newly Promoted Cádiz

Cádiz’s first half goal was enough to earn all three points against Real Madrid | PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/Getty Images

The raucous celebrations of Cádiz’s players and staff rang around Madrid’s sparse training pitch. Cádiz’s romantic return to the top flight – after a bumpy start – was now in full swing with a 1-0 victory against the mighty Real Madrid on Saturday evening.

Cádiz flew out of the blocks, forcing a flurry of saves from Real’s Thibaut Courtois – one of the few in an abrasive pink kit whose reputation was added to, rather than dented – in the opening quarter of an hour.

Before two minutes had even elapsed, Sergio Ramos was forced into a goal-saving clearance off the line to keep the score at 0-0. Yet, Cádiz could not be contained for long.

With 15 minutes on the clock and Madrid’s defence – last season’s best in La Liga – pulled all over the place, Álvaro Negredo nodded the ball into the path of the onrushing Anthony Lozano who finally knocked one past Courtois.

Madrid produced a painfully sluggish performance and were comfortably outplayed throughout the first 45 minutes. Zinedine Zidane wasted no time ringing the changes, making a statement with four substitutions at half time.

Cádiz manager Álvaro Cervera watches on as his side defeat the reigning La Liga champions | PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/Getty Images

While Zidane refreshed Madrid’s midfield with Casemiro partnered by Fede Valverde and swapped Lucas Vázquez for Marco Asensio in the front line, the most worrying change for those of a Los Blancos persuasion was the removal of captain Ramos.

After playing the full 90 minutes in both of Spain’s Nations League matches last week, the all-action skipper was forced off with injury, sitting in the stands with a bag of ice on his leg for the second half. Madrid did improve after the interval and Vinícius Júnior – one of the those who escaped the half-time swaps – spurned an excellent headed chance in the 67th minute.

Yet, the Andalusians held on and deservedly earned all three points.

However, while this defeat will certainly be a blow to Madrid’s image, the loss of Ramos – one week before the season’s first Clásico – could be even more detrimental.