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.
Zinedine Zidane, speaking after the game in comments carried by Marca, was understandably unhappy with the result. “The feelings are not good because we had chances and we didn’t kill the game,” he said. “Then, when they drew level, they closed in behind and it was difficult.
“I don’t think it was overconfidence because we knew what we were playing for. The key was the second goal, but we didn’t score it. Then, they backed down and we couldn’t [break them down] even though we had chances to.”
Zidane has been criticised for being slow to make changes and inject impetus into the game. “With the changes you have to be clear about what you want. We weren’t bad and that’s why we waited until the end. They’re two points lost, but we have to continue. There’s another game on the second.
“I’m satisfied with them. We’ve gone from more to less, but I’m happy with everyone’s game and with those who’ve played less. La Liga is long. There’s a long way to go and all the teams are going to lose points. We do our thing and keep fighting.”
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.