The Real Madrid win seemed inevitable. It would have been difficult to claim that the visitors deserved three points, but it was a certainty that they'd secure them, even while the match was stuck in neutral at 0-0. Eventually, a Cristiano Ronaldo free kick gave Madrid the lead, and even though it was only 1-0 (and Real didn't look like threatening any further), a comeback never seemed on the cards.
And then we discarded not one, but two narratives within the space of two minutes. Ninety one minutes in, substitute Richmond Bokaye turned the story upon its head, finishing past Diego Lopez from close range to seemingly gift Elche a well-earned point. And just as we were all reeling from that little turn of events, that too was upended.
Carlos Sanchez might have complained vehemently (seriously, he was sent off after the match ended), but he definitely dragged Pepe to the ground during a corner kick, and doing that sort of thing right in front of the referee tends to go badly for your team. Several yellow cards later, Ronaldo was standing in front of goal, and calmly slotted home to reestablish Real's lead. This time, it would hold, mostly because it was scored in the 96th minute. Initially, the fourth official indicated that the second half would have three minutes of stoppage time.
It was like this game was some sort of attempt to condense every single bit of excitement and drama you might get over the course of a football match into second half injury time. And the bizarreness didn't stop once the whistle was blown for full-time, either -- it's fair to say that the hosts weren't best pleased with how this one turned out.
Elche starting lineup (4-3-3): Manuel Herrera; Edu Albacar, David Lomban, Alberto Botia, Damian Suarez; Javi Marquez (Richmond Bokaye 62'), Carlos Sanchez, Rubin Perez; Manu del Moral (Fidel 60'), Coro (Aaron 82'), Carles Gil.
Goals: Bokaye (90+1')
Real Madrid starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Diago Lopez; Fabio Coentrao, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Alvaro Arbeloa; Luka Modric (Daniel Carvajal 81'), Sami Khedira; Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco (Asier Illarramendi
70'), Angel di Maria (Alvaro Morata 89;); Karim Benzema.
Goals: Ronaldo (51' 90+6')