Virus-hit Real Madrid held 0-0 at home by Cadiz

AP , Monday 20 Dec 2021

Depleted by coronavirus infections, Real Madrid was held 0-0 at home by Cadiz in the Spanish league on Sunday to end a 10-game winning streak for Madrid across all competitions.

Real Madrid
Cadiz s Spanish defender Fali (L) fights for the ball with Real Madrid s Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior during the Spanish league football match between Real Madrid CF and Cadiz CF, at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on December 19, 2021 (AFP)

The stalemate leaves Madrid six points clear at the top of the league. It came a day after second-place Sevilla cut into Madrid's lead by beating defending champion Atletico Madrid 2-1.

Carlo Ancelotti was without Luka Modric, Rodrygo, Marco Asensio, Gareth Bale, Marcelo, and backup goalkeeper Andriy Lunin because of a COVID-19 outbreak. Modric's place in the starting 11 is unquestioned while forwards Rodrygo and Asensio share time in Ancelotti's rotation. Bale and Marcelo, once stars, are rarely used substitutes.

Cadiz, struggling in the relegation zone, frustrated Madrid by aligning nine players in two tight lines in front of its area. When Madrid did manage to work its way through, goalkeeper Jeremias Ledesma was there to save the visitors.

Madrid went no closer than Federico Valverde's long-range strike which was parried by Ledesma midway through the first half. Ledesma also did well to block Karim Benzema's late free kick.

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