Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho appeared to be playing with fire on Saturday when he left influential captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas out of his team who then slumped to a 3-2 La Liga defeat at Malaga.
A hero to Real fans and a fixture between the posts for more than a decade, Casillas was a nervous spectator on the bench as number two keeper Antonio Adan conceded three times and the champions slipped 16 points behind Barcelona 3-1 winners at Real Valladolid.
Mourinho, at a post-match news conference, said decision was "purely technical" and appeared to suggest that Adan had been picked because of Casillas' recent performances.
Asked whether he had relegated the Spain international to the bench because he believed Adan was the better keeper, Mourinho said: "In my opinion? Of course."