real madrid champions league victory

Real Madrid in the Champions League vs Real Madrid in La Liga – sharp contrast

In its Champions League semifinal first leg, Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid showed why it’s been the most consistent scoring team in Europe this term.

Against capital rivals Atletico, Los Blancos all but secured a place in the Cardiff final with a three-nil victory. The Madridistas are averaging three goals per match in the knockout rounds after scoring 16 in the group stages.

Back-to-back Champions League triumphs looms large on the northern horizon. However, the same cannot be said in La Liga, where Real is struggling to win its first title since 2012.

With 31 goals in this year’s Champions League, Real Madrid has been next to unstoppable in front of goal. Despite early group stage struggles, Real has scored two or more goals in every Champions League game played.

Zinedine Zidane’s squad has established itself as the strongest contenders for the Champions League crown with just two big games left to close it out. Making Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid appear such an easy opponent proved as much. It will take a monumental upset to stop Los Blancos from celebrating a Champions League trophy in Cardiff.

Los Merengues also hold the advantage in La Liga despite being second in the table. Level on points with Barcelona although behind in their head-to-head record, Zidane’s side has a game in hand. If Real can match Barcelona point for point in the run-in, then get a result in the extra game, the capital club will be Spanish champion again. Yet, any slip could allow Barca to creep up and condemn Madrid to a sixth consecutive season without a league title.

Since capitulating for the first time in forty games, at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to Sevilla, Madrid have looked largely unconvincing in the league. With two potential banana peel games, the return leg against Sevilla and the as yet unscheduled make-up date away to Celta Vigo, as well as nervy outings against Granada and Malaga, nothing is set in stone for the 32-time Primera Liga champs.

The long drought for Spain’s most successful club has begun presenting headaches for Real Madrid’s board. Reports in the Sun indicate Zidane could be sacked if Madrid fails to win one title or the other.

Real Madrid will struggle to win the double

Real Madrid have four games to reassert themselves as undisputed Kings of La Liga. Barcelona tops the table on aggregate score in this season’s Clasicos, whereas Real have that extra match to nose in front, after February’s away match with Celta Vigo was rendered unplayable when the Balaidos was damaged by gale-force winds. Zidane’s squad will need to stretch every sinew, then find a little extra to finish above Barcelona this season.

However, with Madrid’s irresistible attacking form boosted by Cristiano Ronaldo’s revived killer instinct, the path to a second consecutive Champions league title seems much easier.

Zidane’s bias for Benzema doesn’t help

Given his side’s position in both the Champions League and La Liga, it could be argued Zinedine Zidane has ticked the right boxes with his Real Madrid lineup in every game. I’d agree but for his preference for fellow Frenchman, Karim Benzema.

Benzema has been brilliant for Real Madrid in seasons past. He’s been below par this campaign, though, and it’s clear for all to see. More irritating is the fact a dynamic Alvaro Morata is being left to rot on the bench.
Morata is faster, sharper, and poses more danger in the box than Benzema. Morata has scored more league goals (13) in less minutes (1166) than Benzema (9/1720).

Zizou must give more minutes to Morata if Real are to successfully achieve the La Liga title and not falter at the finish line.

About the Author Kingsley

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