Misery continues for Real Madrid as they are yet to fill the gap left by Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo
It's not a happy start to the New Year as Real Madrid's abysmal 2018/19 season continues. They were held back to a 2-2 draw by 17th placed Villareal. It was a chance for the Los Blancos to leave the poor start of the season behind and start afresh but they were unable to get better of a team who are fighting it out of relegation zone.
The same problem keeps coming back to haunt Real Madrid. They were unable to defend their slender lead. Villareal took the lead early through Cazorla's strike as Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane scored two goals to give Real Madrid the lead. Santi Cazorla, who has not scored in the La Liga since 2012, bagged another goal in the match to pile more problems for Santiago Solari's men.
The draw means that Real Madrid have now won just eight of the past 42 matches that they've played away at the start a new calendar year. Villareal's defense is one of the worst in the LaLiga this season yet Real Madrid failed to convert their chances and kill the game when they were ahead.
Real Madrid's defense is not any better. They have conceded most goals among the big teams in the LaLiga. During both Villareal goals, Santi Cazorla was left unmarked and eventually, that had terrible consequences. Even Barcelona's defense looked shaky throughout the first half of the season but their attacking prowess and big match performances have kept them top of the table.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid continued their poor performance and maintained their inconsistent displays which is not helping their case. Clearly, they miss their ex-coach Zinedine Zidane and the greatest goalscorer of the club, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Moreover, most of the players are devoid of the hunger which was key to their success in these last three season. The same bunch of players with Cristiano Ronaldo made history by winning three consecutive UEFA Champions League and Club World Cups with a La Liga in between. But it seems most of the players want this miserable season to get over quickly.
It is puzzling how a few men's absences in a team sport can cost them so much and led them straight to misery. The absence of Zinedine Zidane meant that Real Madrid dressing room lost the presence of one of football's all-time greats and the man who led them to unprecedented heights.
Under Zidane, the team showed a formidable fighting spirit till the last minute of the game and never gave up. Although there were question marks regarding his tactics despite huge success, Zidane's game reading and man management propelled them to success. After Zidane's departure, that's no more the case with Real Madrid.
On the other hand, Real Madrid are unable to fill the holes left by talisman Cristiano Ronaldo. Players are still failing to convert the chances and put the ball into the net. Moreover, a talisman like Cristiano always delivered in crunch moments and was a motivating figure among the players.
Although Karim Benzema and company are trying their best, they are yet to match the efficiency Los Blancos had under the tutelage of Zinedine Zidane. It is safe to say that Real Madrid players must step up to give themselves any hopes of securing a silverware this season.