Real Madrid fans pine for Mesut Özil as Gareth Bale cannot stop first derby defeat since 1999

Ancelotti faces growing pressure after Barça open up five-point lead

Gareth Bale would have heard plenty about Spain having a two-team league before he left Tottenham this summer. He will not have bargained on neither of those sides being  Real Madrid.

Bale sat out Saturday’s sluggish first half against Atletico Madrid coming on at half time but was unable to prevent Real’s first league  defeat at the hands of their neighbours in 14 years. Coach Carlo Ancelotti is now under pressure to start the world-record signing for the visit of Copenhagen on Wednesday and prevent Real’s drama turning into a crisis.

There were isolated chants of “Jose Mourinho” outside the Bernabeu as home supporters filed away from a 1-0 defeat having seen their team slip five points behind both Atletico and Barcelona – five points in a league where the leaders win almost all their games is a sizeable gap to have allowed to open up after just seven matches.

There were also calls for president Florentino Perez to stand down and most of the postmortem centred on the player he had agreed to pack off to Arsenal in the summer – Mesut Özil. The Gunners’ position on top of the Premier League with the German heading the assists list was lost on no one.

It was a measure of how under pressure Ancelotti was on Saturday night when Cristiano Ronaldo made a rare appearance in front of the post-match microphones and cameras to declare: “The manager is doing a great job; we have to stay united  behind him. The fault lies with the players.”

Ancelotti had been unconvincing moments earlier in his press conference. “We had the same problem as in the previous game,” he said. “Our football was slow and we were not able to find any space. When you play against a team that defends well it is difficult if you play slowly.”

The Italian has a confusing remit at the Bernabeu. He inherited a team from Mourinho set up to defend deep and hit opponents on the counter-attack. But he was then bought midfielders Asier Illarramendi and Isco and urged to play a more elaborate, passing style. Then, with the season already two weeks old, he was given Bale to incorporate.

Between the cut-throat direct football that favours Bale and Ronaldo and the smooth passing game being called for by the purists, Ancelotti is offering up a hotch-potch that  resembles neither. 

The good news for Bale is the last time Real lost to Atletico, they want on to win the Champions League at the end of the season.

The 6-1 demolition of a defensively fragile Galatasaray in the opening game in Group B has given them the perfect springboard and a good result against Copenhagen, who were beaten by Brondby at the weekend and who drew in their opening Champions League game to Juventus, would set them up for the double header with the Italians.

Anything less than a win and Bale will be calling David Beckham to ask for advice for how to navigate a Real Madrid crisis. Beckham went through six coaches and three  presidents in his four seasons at  the club.

Real were undone at the weekend by La Liga’s joint top-scorer Diego Costa who, having been snubbed by Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, is now being watched by Spain’s Vicente del Bosque. The  24-year-old Brazilian has a Spanish passport.

His goal on Saturday was his eighth of the season, keeping him level with Lionel Messi who scored in Barcelona’s 2-0 win over Almeria. The Argentine came off injured and Barcelona doctors yesterday diagnosed a small tear in his left thigh that will rule him out for three weeks.

The Barça No 10 will miss his side’s away fixture against Celtic tomorrow night, next weekend’s home game with Real Valladolid and the subsequent round of international fixtures. With their victory against Almeria, Barça recorded their best ever start to a season, winning all seven of their first seven games.

Atletico have matched them point-for-point and so find themselves in the table looking down on Spain’s third-force – Real Madrid.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform