Real Madrid suffered further misery in the defence of their La Liga title as they settled for a 2-2 draw versus relegation candidate Levante at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia. The stalemate sees them 19 points adrift of league leaders Barcelona, and this has diminished any glimmer of hope of retaining the Spanish crown, which they had lifted after a five-year wait last term.
Three Things We Learned:
Cristiano Ronaldo’s decline: The Portugal international probably reached the high of his career last term as he guided the club to Champions League and La Liga success. However, his exploits in front of goal have since declined with his league form directly contributing towards the club’s lean patch. Ronaldo has converted just around eight per cent of his shots into goals this term, and this has exhibited a decline of 12 per cent from his average in previous seasons.
Real Madrid require a new marksman: Likewise Ronaldo, the form of Karim Benzema has far from impressive with just a solitary goal since November (ESPN). The Frenchman is an excellent option to hold-up play for his fellow attackers, but in terms of scoring, his form has deteriorated over the past 18 months. Benzema has netted just twice in 15 league appearances this term, and it would come as a huge surprise, if Florentino Perez sticks with Benzema as the leading front-man for another campaign.
Zinedine Zidane clinging onto his job: What a difference seven months can make. Zidane was the subject of widespread praise after Real retained the Champions League title for the first time in the modern era, but things have gone pear-shaped since. The Frenchman has seen his side bow out of the La Liga race whilst suffering a shock quarter-final elimination to Leganes in the Copa Del Rey, and the Champions League probably remains the only route to silverware success.
The European Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup and club World Cup are indeed valuable additions to the club’s trophy cabinet this term, but Los Blancos would surely want to win the Champions League for a record third-straight time. Any failure to do so may hamper Zidane’s future after the club’s dismal defence of their La Liga title.
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