Athletic Membership Bilbao parked the bus however couldn’t land the airplane. The driving force arrived early and waited outdoors Barajas Terminal 4 on Friday night whereas 1000’s of ft above him the pilot bringing the staff to Madrid to play Atlético circled town earlier than giving up and going dwelling. At across the identical time Actual Madrid’s gamers had been sitting in one other airplane on the runway, watching snowstorm and time move. To the south, Rayo Vallecano’s footballers obtained off the coach and helped push stranded automobiles alongside the highway, or tried to. “Do you assume we must be travelling like this?” midfielder Mario Suárez requested.
Inside their airbus A319, Madrid’s gamers had been questioning a lot the identical factor. That afternoon, as Storm Filomena first appeared, Sergio Ramos took his high off, flexed his muscular tissues, stood in entrance of the digital camera and declared “I really like the summer season” however, caught on board questioning what was occurring as groundstaff de-iced the airplane and the delay continued, most of his teammates didn’t assume this was humorous anymore. An hour handed, then two, then three. The capital hadn’t seen snow prefer it in 50 years and Barajas was at a standstill. The one airplane out was Actual Madrid’s constitution. It was the pilot’s choice, the transport minister later stated.
Madrid reached their resort in Pamplona simply earlier than midnight; Athletic didn’t attain theirs in any respect, they usually weren’t the one ones. Throughout central Spain, snow coated the whole lot, 50cm falling quick. In Madrid over 1,500 folks needed to be rescued, sports activities halls housing the stranded in a single day. The M30 motorway, usually a wild, crowded badlands the place the yellow SEAT guidelines, awoke on Saturday wanting like a child’s bed room, automobiles strewn about in any respect angles, deserted the place that they had been left the night time earlier than. A mass snowball combat broke out by Gran Vía Museum and folks skied down the slopes of the Pure Historical past Museum and thru the streets. They’d identified it was coming – “Filomena, allow us to play” pleaded the quilt of Friday’s Marca – however this was one thing else.
On Saturday Athletic had been as a result of attempt once more, new supervisor Marcelino García Toral insisting the sport would go forward, however at 9am their match at Atlético was formally postponed. Not due to the pitch however as a result of Athletic couldn’t get there. And since Atlético couldn’t both: there was no means of most of them getting out of their drives, not to mention crossing town. Rayo, who had managed lower than 5 kilometres in half an hour, lastly noticed their sport at Mirandés deserted. Leganés-Almería and Alcorcán-Albacete had been postponed and Fuenlabrada’s go to to Sporting Gijón was pushed again. Twelve Segunda B video games had been postponed. By some means, Unionistas’ 920km bus journey to Galicia wasn’t certainly one of them.
There was extra however whereas there was no Sunday night time round-up on TV, employees unable to make it to the studio, the present wouldn’t be stopped. Within the first division solely Atlético-Athletic obtained postponed, leaving the league leaders, who had already performed two video games fewer, even additional behind. Getafe’s go to to Elche was delayed 24 hours. They requested a postponement however the league insisted, placing them up in a resort by the airport whereas they waited for Barajas to reopen. It wasn’t secure to get there by bus so the league referred to as a fleet of Ubers … which the gamers needed to get out of and push. “It’s disgraceful; I’m livid,” president Ángel Torres stated. Valencia had been a day late to Valladolid, the place snow was cleared to go away an ideal pitch, however they obtained there. Gained too. And Betis made it to snowy Huesca for Monday night time’s match. Manuel Pellegrini referred to as it “irresponsible”, however it’s on.
Osasuna-Madrid was on too. After 4 hours at Barajas, a last-minute escape from the capital, and one other hour within the air, Madrid had made it to Pamplona, in spite of everything – even when getting away once more is a unique matter fully. They hadn’t wished to journey however they had been there now. Madrid didn’t ask for the sport to be postponed, however did ask for it to be introduced ahead from 9pm on Saturday to 4.15pm, the TV slot that Atletico-Athletic would have occupied. The league stated no, and they also waited. With the snow as a result of get heavier from early night, all afternoon forty folks labored continuous. Warmth lamps coated a 3rd of the pitch, rotating across the floor, whereas employees went forwards and backwards clearing the floor, ultimately leaving simply two mild strips of white. It was a minor miracle. By kick off, it regarded actually fairly good.
Which was greater than might be stated for Madrid. Watched by radio broadcasters who had been pressured to attend outdoors till half-hour earlier than kick-off and photographers sitting within the snow, Osasuna’s gamers turned up briefly sleeves: onerous as nails and even tougher to interrupt down. Enjoying deep, Madrid couldn’t get by means of. They reached half-time with no single shot on the right track; by full time, that they had only one. Ramos went up entrance, Mariano Díaz got here on, however nothing actually occurred. There have been two “targets” dominated out for clear offsides, one save by Sergio Herrera from Marco Asensio, and that was it. As the sport went on, actually, Osasuna had the higher of it. Thibaut Courtois had already saved from Oier Sanjurjo and a very neat transfer between Rubén García and Roberto Torres ended with the latter placing an important probability over.
It completed 0-0, a predictability about Madrid that was mirrored in the puns that adopted, not one of many papers managing to withstand. Madrid had suffered “attacking hypothermia”, had been “caught chilly” and had been “left frozen at El Sadar”; Osasuna had “turned them to ice”. “Frozen!” ran one entrance web page. “Beneath zero”, stated the quilt of AS.
One beneath, at the very least. Madrid are actually solely three factors forward of Barcelona, who beat Granada 4-0, and a degree behind Atlético – nonetheless high regardless of having not performed. Atlético now have three video games in hand, providing the possibility to go 10 factors clear. Accumulating so many matches in an already packed calendar won’t be such a great factor – there are not any clear dates to play Athletic – however one of many rescheduled video games is in opposition to Sevilla on Tuesday. The dangerous information for Diego Simeone’s aspect is that, whereas the snow has stopped, temperatures are set to fall so far as -12; the excellent news is that the pitch is okay, motorways are getting cleared, Atlético have supplied gamers with 4x4s to get there, and Yannick Carrasco’s neighbour lent him a battered Fiat Panda that’s “good on snow.”
These two dropped factors might be expensive for Madrid. “We managed the sport however created little or no. We lacked one thing up entrance,” Toni Kroos stated. “The pitch was no excuse. Each groups performed on it.” Osasuna supervisor Arrasate agreed: “In the event that they didn’t play, it was due to us.”
Zidane, although, was livid – which is uncommon in itself. Requested how Madrid had coped with the whole lot surrounding the sport, he replied “badly”, audibly making use of the total cease. “We did what we may however this wasn’t a soccer match,” he added. This was not a match was a line he repeated thrice and, requested if it ought to have been cancelled, he responded: “In fact.” He went on: “We performed as a result of they advised us to, however you’ve seen what occurred. It’s not an excuse. Everybody needs to see a soccer match and people weren’t the circumstances for them. We don’t even know if we are able to get again now.” They couldn’t: Madrid had obtained in, fixture fulfilled, however not out once more. Caught in Pamplona, they’ll now go straight to Málaga for Thursday’s Tremendous Cup semi-final in opposition to Athletic. It’s potential now that having set off on Saturday, they won’t be dwelling till Friday and even subsequent Monday.
Not stunning, then, that Zidane was upset – and at an institutional stage, in the meantime, underlying reactions to this weekend is the more and more fraught relationship between La Liga and Madrid, whose president Florentino Pérez is the primary instigator of a Tremendous League. Whereas Madrid accused La Liga of forcing their hand, La Liga accuse Madrid of not taking their recommendation and leaving sooner, though neither aspect is doing so publicly, as regular.
If the odyssey meant Madrid turned up with a “face on” as one paper put it, if that conditioned the efficiency, the floor was good and the outcome was not out of protecting with their season to date, comparable shortcomings seen earlier than in opposition to comparable opponents. Madrid have crushed Atlético, Barcelona and Sevilla, however have dropped factors in opposition to Cádiz, Valencia, Alavés, Elche and now Osasuna: ninth, thirteenth, fifteenth, 18th and nineteenth respectively.
“What the league did is lamentable. We’re human beings, not only a present. We’re not simply puppets and the league ought to take into consideration our security,” Courtois complained. However, he added: “I wish to thank the folks at Osasuna, all their workers who labored to get the pitch on this situation regardless of the circumstances.” Osasuna’s Rubén García agreed. For 90 minutes, he had been the most effective participant on the pitch however solely due to those that had been on it earlier than him, the women and men he declared the night time’s actual MVPs. The snow got here down however the present should go on somebody stated, and so there they had been out within the chilly, shovel in hand ensuring it really may.