Real Madrid fell to their fourth straight draw as Eibar picked up their first-ever point against Los Blancos via a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Isco, as expected, replaced the injured Luka Modric for Madrid, who also rested Sergio Ramos, but Mateo Kovacic was thrusted into action just before kick-off as James Rodriguez picked up a knock in the warm-up.
Gareth Bale, almost directly after kick-off, surged between two Eibar defenders before coming inside and curling a shot just into the side-netting, yet Los Armeros started just as quickly, scoring their first-ever League goal against Madrid through Fran Rico, who headed home a deep cross from the right.
However, the visitors’ lead lasted little more than 10 minutes, Cristiano Ronaldo picking out Bale superbly with a cross into the box, which the Welshman headed past Asier Riesgo.
Moments after Bale’s finish, former Madrid man Pedro Leon fired a shot on target from close range that Keylor Navas had to tip around his near post, while Dani Garcia counted his lucky stars when Danilo evaded his sliding challenge in the area, but the Brazilian’s cutback for Karim Benzema bounced off the striker’s shins and out for an Eibar goal kick.
Ronaldo looked to be in the mood as he cut into the box from the left and drilled a shot on target that Riesgo could only push away, but it was quickly read by Florian Lejeune, who just about cleared on the line.
Bale and Ronaldo tested Riesgo with a header each before half-time, but their afternoon didn’t get any easier during the break as Raphael Varane had to be replaced. Benzema was also bench-bound, although his case was seemingly technical.
Back to matters on the field, Carvajal’s high cross from the right eventually dropped to Ronaldo near Eibar’s penalty area, but his shot is deflected over the bar. He then squandered an even-better chance, Isco somehow keeping a through ball in play as he slid a cross into the box for the No 7, but he could only head over, despite being unmarked.
A minute of madness saw Madrid come closest to a winner as Morata swept home the rebound from Ronaldo’s spilled shot, but the striker was clearly offside. He then ran onto an angled through ball and seemed to have been wiped out by Riesgo when the two collided, but the referee correctly booked the former for diving over the goalkeeper.
Lejeune was lucky not to concede any more than a yellow and free kick when he sliced through Ronaldo just outside his own box, but the Portuguese’s free kick hits the wall and led to an Eibar counter, which saw Sergi Enrich head inches over Navas’ bar.
Madrid continued to plug away, but their final chance came some 20 minutes before full-time, Bale powering a header from near the edge of the box onto the post, before a poor first touch cost Ronaldo a potential opener from Danilo’s square pass.
Riesgo spilled a cross with Morata lurking, but the striker was swiftly dispossessed by a perfectly-timed sliding tackle from Dos Santos, and it was the cue for Isco to leave the pitch for Marco Asensio. The malaguista may have missed his big opportunity in Modric’s absence.
Asensio did get two chances to head home the winner for Madrid, but his first sailed over the bar. His next managed to hit the target, yet Riesgo got his body behind it and left Los Blancos at risk of falling to second.
Real Madrid 1-1 Eibar
Bale 17 (RM) Rico 6 (E)
Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Varane (Nacho 46), Pepe, Danilo; Kovacic, Kroos, Isco (Asensio 72); Bale, Benzema (Morata 46), Ronaldo
Eibar: Riesgo; Capa, Dos Santos, Lejeune, Luna; Rico, Escalante, Garcia; Leon (Adrian 90), Enrich (Kike 76), Pena (Bebe 87)
Referee: Martinez Munuera