3 reasons for Real Madrid's improvement under Santiago Solari
Real Madrid's latest victory over bitter rivals Atletico Madrid in LaLiga saw them move up to 2nd place on the league table. They are now 6 points behind league leaders FC Barcelona. Although it is still a big gap between the top two of the table, the gap is a lot closer than it was in December.
Halfway into the season, getting into the Champions League spot looked tough for Los Blancos due to their poor start to the season. After the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane, ex-manager Julen Lopetegui failed to provide them with direction and instead was sacked after continuous poor performances, which included a 5-1 thrashing against Barcelona, 3-0 defeat against Sevilla and defeat against CSKA Moscow, among many others.
But under the guidance of new coach, Santiago Solari, Los Blancos slowly and surely have turned things around. Their recent wins against Atletico Madrid and Sevilla and a draw with an away goal against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey depicts their massive improvement in performance.
Without further ado, let us evaluate three reasons for Real Madrid's recent improvement after enduring one of their worst starts in the 21st century.
#1 The form of key players
One of the key reasons behind the poor performance of Real Madrid in the first half of the season was the poor displays of starlets in the team. While key men like Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema, and Luka Modric failed to step up to cope with the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo - Marcelo, Kroos, and Isco's injury were pivotal to their downfall.
Slowly but surely, the players have shown their calibre after the departure of Julen Lopetegui. As evident from his recent exploits, Karim Benzema's sensational run of form continues and he has scored 18 goals this season in all competitions while providing 7 assists. Sergio Ramos is back to being the defensive leader he is known for and is also enjoying the best goal-scoring season of his career.
The good form of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in the midfield benefited Los Blancos a lot, which depicts their importance in the midfield. It is safe to say that these stars showing their calibre is what Real Madrid needed to improve, and they did, leading to Madrid's recent good form.
All stats via transfermarkt