It's been half a year since Mr. Benitez made his trip from Naples into Madrid's Barajas Airport to tackle on his lifelong "dream job". Now, instead of looking at the style of play, the grit or willingness of these players or the incomprehensible apathy some of these players show on the field, lets just talk about Rafa's Real Madrid.
Real Vs. Sporting Gijon 0-0 (Away)
Scoreless draw at a fairly difficult stadium which didn't worry me too much since it was his first game in charge.
Vs. Granada 1-0 (Home)
Very shaky performance from Real this game as I remember Granada had a couple chances which could've put them up on the scoreline but their finishing was dreadful. Overall, a win is a win I thought so I kept my worries to myself.
Vs. Malaga 0-0 (Home)
Things got a little more worrying after this performance since Malaga are not a very strong side and normally end up receiving 3 or 4 every time they come to the Bernabeu.
Vs. Atletico Madrid 1-1 (Away)
The first real test for Mr. Benitez. Real came out pretty comfortably and scored the opener from Benzema, but after the Atletico equalizer it was all Atletico's show. Thanks to a fantastic save from Keylor Navas which kept us in the game and perhaps prevented this from being a loss.
Vs. PSG 0-0 (Away)
I was actually in Spain for this game and the feeling around my family members over there and their friends was that Madrid was going to defend and wait for a mistake from PSG. Their predictions became true and although Madrid showed some attacking play in some parts of the game, it was really a game to forget.
Vs. Celta De Vigo 1-3 (Away)
Even though the scoreline reads 3-1. I'm sure that if you're not completely biased towards your team and can take a step back and just look at the performance as a whole you would realize how lucky we were to have Keylor Navas in goal. Navas made 5-7 saves which denied clear goal scoring opportunities and Real was against a wall trying to hold on to their 2-1 lead, however, judging by the form Celta were in and considering Barcelona got destroyed there, I thought we were very lucky to come out of there with a win.
Vs. PSG (Home)
In my recent memory, I can't think of a more undeserved result than this win over PSG. PSG played us off the field in that first half and could've been up by 3 or 4 goals by the end of the first half. It really felt like watching a team of strangers playing against a group of veterans. A cross from Nacho which magically made his way into the goal after PSG's GK Trapp came out of his goal to catch butterflies, surprisingly ended in a win for Real.
Vs. Sevilla 3-2 (Away)
This game was really a big one for me because I know just how hard Sevilla plays against Real and Barcelona. When the first half started I saw a dominating Madrid who could've scored 2 or 3 in the first half. After Ramos's goal which ended in injury and his substitution, something came over Sevilla and they went for the game until they tied and it was all downhill from there. Konoplyanka ran circles around Danilo on that left wing and our defense was always getting caught out of position, this game was a must win in order to go into El Clasico in high spirits.
Vs. Barcelona (4-0) (Home)
4-0, Do I really need to say anything else?
Vs. Shaktar Donetsk (3-4) (Home)
How do you almost blow a 4-0 lead in just 10 minutes.
Vs. Villareal (1-0) (Away)
A win in this game would've put us 2 points away from the leader on the table and would've lifted up the whole fan base as well. Barcelona slipped up and we can't capitalize on that error? Yes it is a tough stadium, with players who give their all against Madrid but do you who know their goalscorer was? ROBERTO SOLDADO. That's right let that sink in for a minute, ROBERTO SOLDADO. This is a big problem guys, we are not just talking about being 5 points way from the leader. This is about being kicked out of the Copa Del Rey for pure incompetency, a manager who hasn't got a Scooby Doo about man management or even tactics for that matter and a squad of players who have absolutely no faith in what they are doing.
For the sake of this team I truly hope I'm wrong but remember... Malmo was nothing to get excited about.