Atletico beat Getafe 1-0 earlier in the evening so Los Blancos were intent on matching their result and making up the three point gap to the top of the tree.
They didn’t. Madrid took charge of the first half but didn’t step on Elche’s necks and allowed them to come back into the second. They dominated the game without having the lethal touch to finish it and the hosts were deserving of their point.
Casemiro, speaking post-match in comments carried by Marca, was understandably frustrated by the result. “We wanted the three points but it wasn’t to be,” he said. “We started well and had chances to score more goals, but with one play they scored. We fought but it was difficult to find space. They all dropped back, although we expected it [once we conceded].”
The Brazilian was keen to switch focus to Madrid’s upcoming clash with Celta Vigo on January second rather than discuss contentious refereeing decisions. “We don’t talk about referees,” he said. “They’re here to do the best they can. Other people can talk about VAR and referees, we talk about football.”
Madrid started well, wearing their black-and-pink change strip to counter Elche‘s all-white look. Marcelo struck the bar with an uncharacteristically right-footed effort early doors only for Marco Asensio to hit the crossbar as well shortly afterwards.
This time, however, Luka Modric was live to the opportunity and pounced on it, steering his strong header past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net to give his team a vital lead.
Shortly after the second-half-restarted, however, the hosts were back on level terms. Dani Carvajal committed a foul in the box and Fidel Chaves made no mistake when he stepped up, coolly converting his penalty into the bottom left corner of the net.