Real Madrid visited Girona for the first time ever in LaLiga history on Sunday and they returned to the capital with a 2-1 defeat, one which showed up a number of ongoing issues. With a crunch match against Tottenham coming up at Wembley, Los Blancos needed to start finding solutions to the following 11 issues quickly.
1. The away run comes to an end
By losing away from home, Real Madrid’s poor form was finally transferred away from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. They’d been struggling in front of their home fans so far this season, but have now done so on the road as well, losing 13 games later.
2. An attack of nerves
It will have been concerning for Zinedine Zidane to have seen nerves play a role in this weekend’s loss, with the strikers not zoning in when needed. Cristiano Ronaldo has just one LaLiga goal so far this campaign, while Karim Benzema wasn’t able to keep his cool in front of goal either.
3. Only Isco was able to breathe life into the team
One player who should be exempt from the criticism is Isco, not just because he scored from a rebound, but because he assumed responsibility from start to finish and led Real Madrid’s attacks. Right now, he is the only player in the squad playing as well as he did during the double-winning 2016/17 campaign.
4. Problems with the full-backs
Real Madrid are suffering on the flanks like they rarely have before, with Marcelo not performing to his usual standards and even being substituted on Sunday and with the young Achraf simply – and understandably – not able to offer the same presence as Dani Carvajal.
5. Another injury
As if the afternoon in Girona couldn’t get any worse, Real Madrid also travelled home with another name on the injury list, that of Raphael Varane.
6. A failure to create chances
It’s not just that Real Madrid aren’t finishing their chances, but that they’re failing to create as many as they did last season. They’ve also forgotten how to threaten from set pieces, with Sergio Ramos’ head yet to appear at the right moments.
7. Fewer alternatives
In losing Alvaro Morata and James in the transfer window, Real Madrid don’t have the options on the bench that they did last season. In Girona, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez came on, but they couldn’t tilt the tide in the visiting side’s favour.
8. Defensive fragility
Real Madrid could well have conceded four goals against Girona, as a result of poor defending. They allowed the newly promoted side to shoot 15 times.
9. Five points lost to newcomers
It’s not just that Real Madrid are dropping points, but who they’re dropping them to.They’ve now let two slip away to Levante and three to Girona, two of the newly promoted sides to LaLiga. LaLiga champions simply cannot do that.
10. Not able to build up steam
Part of Real Madrid’s problem is that they’ve not just had one bad spell. There is no pattern to their form and no good run of form being built to allow them to leave the poor results in the past.
11. No late comebacks
Last season Real Madrid were a terrifying force in the final minutes, but this year they’re not able to put on that same late pressure.