In just two weeks, Real Madrid have managed to transform themselves from a side that was facing a crisis to one that is now in contention for every important trophy.
Los Blancos were on their way to being relegated to the Europa League after losing their penultimate Champions League group game to Shakhtar Donetsk, while their form in La Liga also nosedived following a disappointing loss to Cadiz.
However, the last 14 days have seen Zinedine Zidane guide Real Madrid to four successive wins in all competitions.
It is a run that started with a narrow 1-0 win against Sevilla before Los Blancos sealed qualification to the last 16 of the Champions League after a hard-fought 2-0 win at Borussia Monchengladbach.
Over the weekend, the team recorded an important 2-0 win against joint league leaders Atletico Madrid and have now made Athletic Bilbao their latest victims after beating them 3-1 on Tuesday.
Zinedine Zidane has turned Real Madrid's fortunes around
Two weeks ago, Zinedine Zidane was under pressure as talks of his imminent sack were mooted. However, the Frenchman has turned things around, and it appears that Real Madrid have found their magic touch again.
They may have started slowly against Athletic Bilbao but once the team got into its stride, there was no stopping them. Toni Kroos opened the scoring with virtually the last touch of the first half after being set up by Vinicius Junior.
Although a 10-man Bilbao equalised immediately after the break, a brace from Karim Benzema ensured that Real Madrid walked away with all three points as well as a fourth successive victory in all competitions.
Zidane said after the game (as quoted by Goal):
"It is true that we suffered. When you play 11 against 10, if you interpret the game well you can have it easier, but it has been the other way around. We were too hasty."
"When they lose a player, you say, 'I'm going to score the goal in 15 minutes'. And you have to be patient. After the fourth game in 10 days, there are three points and you have to be very happy."
Real Madrid have their mojo back
The priceless three points earned from their game against Athletic Bilbao will delight every Real Madrid fan. Despite a poor start to the season, Los Blancos have found their mojo back, and the last two weeks have shown that Zidane’s side cannot be discounted in the title race just yet.
The win against Bilbao has seen Real Madrid move level on points with Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad at the summit of the La Liga table, albeit temporarily.
Should they continue racking up wins, it’ll only be a matter of time before Los Blancos permanently go to the top of the table.Published 16 Dec 2020, 21:20 IST