After only eight games in this year’s season of La Liga, the league has already had an immense amount of drama.
Throughout those 720 minutes, Real Madrid’s performances have been both praised and criticized depending on the match, yet, despite some inconsistencies they have one positive to hold onto: first place and good re.
A post from La Liga’s twitter account on Oct. 12 congratulated the Zinedine Zidane’s team for being the only unbeaten team left in Spain’s top flight.
Since kicking off the 2019/20 season in August, Real Madrid sit at the top of the table with 18 points closely followed by Barcelona with 16 and Atletico Madrid with 15.
They’ve had five wins and three ties so far to maintain that position so let’s break down the numbers and see how they’ve managed to stay on top.
Quick match overview:
The team started the season strong but fell back a bit due to injuries and some inconsistencies. Opening with a win they then drew two games, eventually went on to win three in a row, drew the Madrid Derby and are now back on the mark with their latest 4-2 victory over Granada.
Away to Celta Vigo: 1-3 - Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez all scored on the first match of the season. Luka Modric was given a red card.
Home to Valladolid: 1-1 - This was the club’s first draw of the season. Benzema again was the player to break the deadlock but the defence let the opponent grab one back.
Away to Villareal: 2-2 - The team continued with some frustration dropping another two points and had to play catch up during this game. Gareth Bale scored both the tying goals, then ended it with a red card.
Home to Levante: 3-2 - Benzema started strong with a brace and Casemiro added another to give the team a large lead in the first half. The defence again slipped up and Levante pulled two back.
Away to Sevilla: 0-1 - Very important game and a mentally tough one. Team came away with a win only having 45% possession with 7 shots and 4 on target but Benzema’s goal was enough.
Home to Osasuna: 2-0 - Vinicius Junior finally grabbed the goal he’s been waiting for and it ends up being the winning one. Fellow Brazilian Rodrygo adds a seconds. Decent performances from the youngsters
Away to Atletico Madrid: 0-0 - Real had more shots (7-14), more possession (44%-56%) and more passes at a higher completion rate (451 at 84% and 565 at 87%) than their city rivals but couldn’t break the deadlock.
Home to Granada: 4-2 - After some Champions League woes, the team came back to the league with determination. Beznema, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric and James Rodriguez all scored but again, the opponents pulled two back.
In depth look:
With so many newcomers from the summer transfer window, the club has been working on finding their best starting XI and have had eight different lineups with a total of 23 players stepping up to represent the crest.
Everyone except for Brahim Diaz, Mariano Diaz and Marco Asensio (injured) have had some playing time in the league. Only three players, captain Sergio Ramos and midfielders Toni Kroos and Casemiro have been consistently starting every game in La Liga.
Offensively speaking, the veterans on the squad continue to help the team score goals when they desperately need to yet maintaining their unbeaten record has surely been a team effort.
Benzema and Bale have been good for Real Madrid’s attack with the Frenchman bagging six goals from seven appearances and the Welshman following up with two goals from six. Bale also has two assists, the second highest in the squad at two, one less than Dani Carvajal who leads the team with three.
In terms of passing, Madrid have maintained an average of 54.9% possession in their eight games with 87% completion rate. Kroos (93%), Ramos (91%), Raphael Varane (90.6%) and Modric (90.5%) lead the team individually.
Of course, moving forward, the club will have to focus on their defensive duties and keeping working for more clean sheets as they only have three at the moment. Out of the eight games so far, the club allowed their opponents to creep their way back into the match four times and have conceded a total of 10 goals.
In La Liga, Real Madrid boasts a good defensive record averaging 15.6 tackles per game, 10.4 interceptions and 13.1 fouls making the competition more physical than their European efforts.
Looking at the action zones, Real Madrid only play in their own third 26% of the time which testifies to their attacking drive but can be seen as limited action/bodies at the back. The difference behind winning and drawing games has sometimes come down to who exactly is playing in that smaller third.
In particular, deciding whether Casemiro should stay as a defensive midfielder or be used in another position has caused the club some problems. The Brazilian is first in interceptions (2.6), dribbles (2) and second in tackles (2.8) behind Ferland Mendy (3.5). Once Zidane re-finds his proper position, the club will be able to push his strengths even further and look for those clean sheets.
Overall, the reliance of veteran players has helped Real Madrid maintain their unbeaten record but all in all, Zidane and his team are clearly focused this year on performing well in the league. It’s a tough competition every year but the determination and well, the good football, is what has kept them ahead of everyone else.
While some things are still shaky, hopefully Real Madrid can maintain some of these positives moving forward and keep their place on top of La Liga.
After the international break, the club returns to action on October 19 as they travel to play against RCD Mallorca at the Iberostar Stadium.
For more detailed statistics, be sure to check out the tactical analysis articles for each individual game on our website.