This time last year, everything was going Real Madrid’s way in La Liga. This season, however, is a different story and Tuesday night’s late loss to Espanyol in Barcelona was a microcosm of Los Blancos’ miserable campaign.
In 2016-17, Zinedine Zidane’s rotations worked perfectly as the second string stepped up to secure vital victories en route to the title. This term, without James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata, the reserves have been unable to make the same impact.
Last season, Sergio Ramos was heading home last-minute winners to earn dramatic late wins for Los Blancos. But at the RCDE Stadium on Tuesday, the Real Madrid skipper was sent down the pitch as an emergency centre-forward and instead of winning, Madrid lost it as he left space at the back which Gerard Moreno exploited to fire home right at the end.