An injury to Pepe and worries over Cristiano Ronaldo’s health forced Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti to sit his two stars Sunday, and the result was a disappointing 2-0 loss to Celta Vigo at Estadio Balaidos.
The letdown was a missed opportunity for Madrid as they are now five points clear of Atletico Madrid and are completely out of the La Liga race. Barcelona’s nil-nil draw with Elche also could have allowed for a swoop at second place in La Liga.
However Ancelotti likely had intentions to secure a healthier squad ahead of the Champions League final with Atletico Madrid. Gareth Bale didn't play either on Sunday.
Even without stars on the pitch, that didn’t take away from Celta Vigo forward Charles and his brace being the only goals of the match. Relentless in approach, Charles used his defensive skills to generate both scores and keep Real Madrid out of the domestic title race.
Now with 12 goals this term, Charles first scored to close the first half in the 43rd minute by blitzing past defender Sergio Ramos, swiping the ball away and beating Diego Lopez from a very difficult angle from the right side.
In the 63rd, Charles intercepted a poorly placed back kick by Madrid defender Xabi Alonso in the penalty area, and made two touches before again slipping past Lopez.
Celta Vigo is now in position to move as high as eighth on the table, and surpass Valencia in next week’s final match of the term. Madrid lastly face Espanyol at the Bernabeu next week.