Real Madrid’s La Liga chances appeared to all but disappear with their 0-1 defeat at home in the Bernabeu against city rivals Atletico Madrid. In a match in which Atletico, not Real, provided the quality football, a world, clas goal from Griezmann gave another three point advantage over both to run-away favourite FC Barcelona. It was Madrid’s second poor performance in as many games, and when you are ten points behind Barcelona, that ain’t good. It this the definitive final curtain on the show of Zidane Real Madrid in La Liga this year ? Can Zizou survive ?
Now at the of February, with the final campaigns of the Spanish league clearly in sight, even the glimmer of hope of what could happen if Barcelona lose to Real Madrid in La Liga in April has faded. Even Real’s die-hard fans are disclaiming that their team “has no chance”. Just as Madrid Copa del Rey campaign ended in the fiasco of disqualification for fielding an ineligible player, it appears the eligibility has alluded Real Madrid in La Liga. Zidane’s takeover from Benitez appeared to have fired the team, but many will ask whether it was simply fool’s gold, a cosmetic transformation in a team that is simply not up to the challenge of matching Barcelona.
Zidane was a pep pill, not a makeover
Blaming Benitez for leaving the team with just too much to do will sustain the Zidane-backers (of whom there are now fewer than 3 weeks ago) and it may well be “new manager” time again for Madrid and the eternally slithering Club Chairman Florentino Perez. There was, no doubt a transformation morale with Zidane, a shoring up of teamwork and solidarity. But the problem is this Madrid team needs more than that. It needs structure, depth and character. This is not a matter of a ra-ra team spirit.
Atletico under Simeone have no fear in Real Madrid’s citadel, and again the red and whites took this Derby match to their rivals, dominating the open play in most phases of the game, much in the way they had stamped their authority on the Barcelona Atletico match in January. In these matches, it appears that Atletico now do what you would expect Real Madrid to be doing.