October 28, 2010
Coming into Tuesday night’s Copa del Rey tie against third division Murcia, Real Madrid’s form had been phenomenal. Since their uninspired goalless draw at newly promoted Levante on September 25th, Los Blancos had won five of five, including two Champions League matches. Outscoring opponents 19-3 over that span, Jose Mourinho’s side had seemingly found their form and were set to start bringing the trophies to the Bernabeu. That was until they were held goalless, again, by a stubborn Murcia side in their fourth round cup fixture. As the season presses forward, supporters in the Spanish capital are beginning to wonder which Madrid side will take the pitch on a given night.
The seventeen time Copa del Rey Champions have exited the competition at the hands of a third division club in each of the past two seasons. Couple that with Madrid’s lavish spending and those results become even more embarrassing, sparking their Portuguese boss to threaten his side before the tie. Unsure which, if any, players are “dead to him” after Tuesday lackluster draw; the Spanish giants will look to advance to the round of sixteen, for the first time since 2007-2008, in the return leg on November 10.
October 22, 2010
Real Madrid took a massive step forward in their Champions League campaign with a convincing victory on Tuesday night against AC Milan. Two goals in ninety seconds would be all the home side would need to put themselves atop the group, on nine points through the first three games and five points clear of Milan and Ajax Amsterdam. The last season that Real Madrid won their first three groups stage matches was during the 2001-2002 campaign; the last time Los Blancos were crowned the champions of Europe.
October 5, 2010
On the eve of yet another international break, Madrid sent a message throughout Spain: we can finish, and, when we do, the results will be devastating to opponents. Los Blancos’ bagged six Sunday night, albeit against a struggling Deportivo side, finally leveraging their dominant possession into a definitive score-line. An adjustment period to a new manager was expected, and is by no means over; however, it was not the tactics that Madrid seemed to be struggling with but finding the back of the net. Stat-lines would have one wondering how a team could be so in control, have so many attempts on net but then draw or barely beat newly promoted squads. Mourinho’s star-studded squad will enter the fortnight of international play with a renewed sense of confidence, which, if parlayed into their return to the domestic pitch, could have the capital side giants poised to be on of the most dangerous teams in Europe.