What is happening at Real Madrid? Galacticos facing the threat of La Liga and Champions League expulsion
As national team football take backstage and league football resumes this weekend, the buzz and excitement could be stirring, except maybe for team players and manager of a certain club in Madrid.
Los Blancos suffered their second defeat in the league this season and in as many as four games, with Madrid having gone 320 minutes in all competitions without putting the ball into the back of the net.
What could be going wrong?
The trend would probably go back to the defeat against Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup Final. Tagged as a “glorified friendly” i.e. the curtain-raiser to resume competitive football on the continental stage, Madrid would, however, be astonished as they went down to a goal inside the first minute of the game.
With Los Blancos getting the equaliser and going on to lead in the 63’ minute, Los Vikingos would be guilty of allowing Atletico get the game level on the 79’ minute.
The game going on into extra time, Los Blancos were culpable of two quick-fire goals – in the 98’ and 104’ minute, but possessed not the necessary firepower to venture toward getting the game level.
A similar occurrence was highlighted in the game against Girona in the second weekend of the new season.
Going down to a goal in the 16’ minute, Madrid were unable to get back into the game, until a divisive penalty was given – Madrid forward Marco Asensio adjudged to have been upended by Marc Muniesa in the penalty box.
A closer look at the replay would reveal that the Spanish forward had simulated the dive to earn the penalty.
Madrid would go on to win the game, but the game reflected Los Vikingos’ inability to unravel defences.
The game against Sevilla smacked of Madrid having been beaten convincingly by a better opponent. A Sevillla side which had more games under their belt – from their exploits in Europe – having had to battle in the Europa League qualification stages, Los Hispalenses, going on a 6 – 2 rout over Levante the previous weekend, would turn out a breathless performance, beating the Champions League title holders a convincing 3 – nil win.
One of the highlights of the game – the devastating counter-attack Sevillistas unleashed leading to the second goal.
Madrid had no answer to their more potent opponent and would have to watch helplessly as Los Hispalenses ran away with all three points.
A defeat to Russian League runners-up, CSKA Moscow in the Champions League and another defeat to Alaves in the Premier League, and the atmosphere couldn’t be worse at the Madrid club.
With Madrid displaying dominance in majority of games, the hurdle has been the efficacy to break down defences, with the game against the Russian side, Los Blancos conceded on the 2’ minute but presented no answers to get back in the game.
The loss against Deportivo Alaves – the game remained square at nil – nil until Alaves took the fortuitous chance in the 5’ minute added time.
Los Blancos’ profligacy in front of goal continued as Madrid with a 70% possession were unable to go one up over their opponents.
Probably the time has come to mourn the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese attacker having been potent in front of goal, notching up an average of 50 goals per season.
However, with the game against Levante in the weekend and Barcelona a fortnight later, with the Champions League match against Czech league champions, FC Viktoria Plzen sandwiched in between, Madrid president Florentino Perez and Julen Lopetegui would have to put that thought aside as they seek answers toward staying in the La Liga race and ably defending their Champions League title.