Following last night’s demolition of Galatasaray, it would be fair to say that the end of October and beginning of November have gone as well as any Madridista could have hoped. Though still trailing Barcelona in the league table, the difference between the two sides remains just a handful of goals and Los Blancos have also somewhat recovered in the Champions League group stages where Real remain in the hunt for top spot.
And what style they have done it in aswell! Three wins, four clean sheets and 12 goals scored. Last night’s win marked the first time Madrid had kept their opponents scoreless in four consecutive games since September 2015, the 6-0 win is the second time Madrid have won by five or more, matching the times they won by such a margin throughout the whole of last season. For context, Madrid managed to win by five or more four times during the 2017-18 season and five times the season before that.
Zinedine Zidane can be the subject of alot of fair criticism as to how he has approached his second term in charge, but at the very least he has brought back a sense of comfort to games where Real go in as heavy favourites. In returning this sense of comfort, its now important once again for Madrid fans to make conclusions from these four games with a hefty pinch of salt.
Big wins are always great, but the quality (or lack thereof) of Galatasaray and Leganes in particular have played a big role in the margin of those victories. Both sides have had pretty woeful starts to the season with Leganes rock bottom of LaLiga and Galatasaray sitting in seventh in the SuperLig. Though both teams have made Real work for a win in the past, their overall record is quite poor. Leganes are yet to beat Madrid in LaLiga after seven meeting while Galatasaray have won just two matches in European competition since 2014.
On the pitch, both sides offer little resistance to their hammerings, conjuring up two of the meekest displays I have seen from a travelling side in a long time (see this for the worst away performance I have seen). Their subpar performances are also reflected in the Xg where they managed 0.74 between them and conceded 8.91.
This all might seem like a bit of a buzzkill, but its a necessary discussion given some of the takeaways from the four games, particularly surrounding the young players. Both Rodrygo Goes and Fedrico Valverde’s stock have risen dramatically thanks to their recent performances, however, they sit on a pedestal that Vinicius occupied not so long ago and like their teenage teammate, are inevitably going to hit a rough patch.
That patch might not come until next season or it could come in the very near future. Following the trip to Eibar this weekend, Real host an inform Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu before a crunch clash against Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League. An away trip to Alaves and the visit of Pablo Machin throws up more than few hurdles in the near future with back-to-back-to-back games against Valencia, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao all following after.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying how the last four matches have gone nor in dishing out credit where its due. However, perspective is key, especially in the long run with harder tests to come.