Real Madrid’s LaLiga lead cut after Cadiz draw


Real Madrid were frustrated by Cadiz on Sunday as a 0-0 draw at the Bernabeu saw their lead at the top of LaLiga cut to six points.

A tight first half with no clear chances was followed by a more open second period as Madrid pushed for a breakthrough. Eden Hazard and Vinicius Junior both saw efforts saved by Cadiz keeper Jeremias Ledesma, as the leaders failed to take all three points for the first time since October.

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Real Madrid went into the game with seven players missing, after Luka Modric, Marcelo, Marco Asensio, Rodrygo, Gareth Bale and Andriy Lunin tested positive for COVID-19 and Dani Carvajal was absent through injury.

That meant a first league start for Hazard in over three months, against a Cadiz side who had won on their last visit to the Bernabeu in October 2020. The opening 45 minutes saw Madrid control possession but struggle to break down a deep-lying, well-organised Cadiz defence.

They were restricted to taking shots from distance, with Fede Valverde, Toni Kroos and Ferland Mendy all firing over the bar, before Valverde’s stinging shot was palmed away by Ledesma.

Casemiro was lucky to escape with just a yellow card for a cynical challenge on Ivan Alejo — he’ll now miss Madrid’s midweek game at Athletic Bilbao through suspension — while Lucas Vazquez and Kroos both sent optimistic shots off target before halftime.

Madrid raised the tempo after the break. Kroos spotted Hazard’s clever run behind into space, but the Belgian’s header was saved, while Casemiro curled wide and Vinicius was also denied by Ledesma.

The Brazil winger was finding more space on the left, while Hazard looked to be growing in confidence, but Madrid were almost punished on the break when Cadiz substitute Alvaro Negredo shot wide.

Karim Benzema had a free kick saved, and Cadiz continued to threaten on the counter, as Madrid had to settle for a point.

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