Real Madrid were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw on Sunday night as Rayo Vallecano headed up the Paseo de la Castellana to visit the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in LaLiga. It was a game which Real Madrid would have hoped to win, despite Carlo Ancelotti making changes, and they had the chances to do so.
Dominating possession and chances was ultimately not enough for Real Madrid, who will be without Antonio Rüdiger for the visit of Valencia after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season, and possibly Jude Bellingham after he came off with a shoulder injury.
Here are three stats to help understand the game.
3 out of 9: Wins from the game following a Clásico victory in recent year
As Euan McTear tweeted from the Bernabéu on Sunday night, Clásico hangovers are real. This 0-0 draw followed the impressive comeback win at the Clásico in Barcelona and represented a continuation of a trend in recent years.
Before this, the most recent results after a Clásico were a 3-2 defeat to Villarreal in April, a 3-0 win over Elche in October, a 2-0 win over Athletic Club in January 2022, a 0-0 draw with Osasuna in October 2021, a 0-0 draw with Liverpool in April 2021, a 2-2 draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach in October 2020, a 2-1 defeat to Real Betis in March 2020, a 3-0 win over Deportivo La Coruña in August 2017, and a 2-0 defeat to Wolfsburg in April 2016.
From Real Madrid's past 7 Clásico victories, they've only then won the following match 2 times.— Euan McTear (@emctear) November 5, 2023
Their Clásico hangovers are too common.
In fact, to find the last time that Real Madrid won their next game after a Clásico win when that game came at the Bernabéu, you would have to go back to August 2017, when Real Madrid won the second leg of the Super Cup after beating Barcelona at Camp Nou. To find a non-Clásico fixture at the Bernabéu after a Clásico victory which ended in a win, you’d have to go back to a 1-0 win over Bayern Munich in April 2014.
It’s a bizarre record which perhaps shows quite how much the players empty themselves to seal victories in the Clásico, and that feeling of running out of fuel appeared to be on display on Sunday night.
60%: Of Real Madrid’s attacks came down the left flank
Much has been made of Real Madrid’s offense this season and this game, with 2.01 xG and 0 goals scored, only further adds to the criticism which has been coming. The injury to Jude Bellingham makes it even more of a worry.
Of a total of 52 attacks classed as “positional attacks”, when they come predominantly through one specific area of the field, 31 came down the left, equivalent to 60%. Seven, 13%, came through central channels, and 14, 27%, went down the right wing. For context of quite how substantial a number 31 attacks down the left is, the team’s average per 90 this season is only a little more at 33.53. The total number of attacks here was the highest since the 1-0 win over Union Berlin in the Champions League, also with 52, but the number to come down the left had not surpassed 22 to date this season.
This stat, on the one hand, underlines the influence of Vinícius. With 10 dribbles completed, it’s his highest number in a single game since the Copa del Rey final in May when he also reached 10. Despite having 0.19 xG, he failed to register a shot on target and had just one attempt, extending his goal drought to four games.
However, it also points to a slight worry. While the left provided 60% of the team’s attacks in terms of numbers, it accounted for only 16% of xG being generated down that flank. In total, the majority, 71% of total xG, came through chances which were generated in central areas. The area which contributed the fewest attacks was the most deadly, which is normal as Rayo made it hard to generate chances through the middle, but it also raises question marks about Ancelotti’s focus on creating from wide areas.
10: 0-0 draws with Carlo Ancelotti in charge of Real Madrid
This result also takes Carlo Ancelotti into double figures for his number of 0-0 draws while in charge of Real Madrid. Bizarrely linked to our first stat, three have come following a win in a Clásico, while only Rayo Vallecano, Real Betis, Villarreal, Real Sociedad, Cádiz, Osasuna, Atlético Madrid and Olímpic Xàtiva have managed to seal the gates against an Ancelotti Real Madrid team.
Ancelotti has experienced a 0-0 draw on 90 occasions in his career to date, with the majority of them coming from his time in Italy. He had 41 0-0s in charge of Milan, 10 with Juventus, nine while leading Parma, eight for Napoli, four at Chelsea, three during his time with Everton and just one each at Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.
This was the 6th time that a 0-0 draw under the Italian came at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. It was, however, his first against Rayo Vallecano, who kept only a second clean sheet in their history at the stadium, following their previous shut out in March 2000, when a certain Julen Lopetegui was the man between the sticks for the side from Vallecas.