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After only ten games of the 2017/18 La Liga season, reigning champions, Real Madrid find themselves eight points behind their arch rivals, Barcelona.
After a very questionable home record that has already seen them draw twice with Levante and Valencia and a shocking loss (1-0) to Real Betis, their latest setback has caused quite a stir at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Leading 1-0 away to Girona at half time, two second half goals in the space of four minutes condemned Zinedine Zidane’s side to their second league defeat of the season, and we haven’t even reached November!
What exactly is wrong with Los Blancos?
It’s not like they are playing with a depleted side.
Yes, there are a few injuries such as Gareth Bale and Dani Carvajal but besides that, they’re strongest eleven isn’t too badly affected.
There was talk over the summer about Madrid’s lack of summer signings which was highlighted even more with the sale of James Rodriguez to Bayern Munich on an initial two year loan deal.
From the start of the season they haven’t played with the confidence or fluidity that saw they conquer both Spain and Europe. However, the biggest difference in this season and last has been the form of a certain Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese talisman has only found the net in the league once so far.
To put that into context his Barcelona counter-part, Lionel Messi, has recorder twelve goals in just ten games. With the absence of Gareth Bale, Zidane has decided to pick Ronaldo as a striking partner to Karim Benzema, which proved a great success towards the end of last season but things haven’t quite clicked.
With a tricky trip coming up away to Tottenham Hotspur midweek, Zidane will hope they can put some of their league woes behind them and march on towards a third successive Champions League title.
Pep’s Cityzen’s set a new record!
Manchester City’s 3-2 win away to West Brom means they have made the best-ever start to a Premier League season after 10 games, collecting 28 points, with nine wins, one draw and a goal difference of +29.
It was another blistering attacking display for the men from Manchester. Germany winger Sane sent City on their way when his vicious strike from 15 yards flew past keeper Ben Foster.
That was his eighth goal of the season, the same as strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus. The former Schalke wide man has been in sensational form this season and seems to grow in stature and confidence with game.
City are now unbeaten in 21 games in all competitions – the longest run without defeat in their history.
Amazingly, Pep Guardiola’s side have now won their last eight Premier League games by an aggregate score of 32-5.
As a third of the season has nearly passed, many pundits ponder the thought; should the Premier League be handed over to de Bruyne and Co. now?
Spurs rue the loss of Kane!
Mauricio Pochettino would have seen their lunch time kick-off with Manchester United on Saturday as an opportunity to silence some critics and lay a marker down as genuine title contenders.
Unfortunately for the Spurs faithful, a large chunk of their pre-game optimism would have centred on the form of their star striker, Harry Kane.
A hamstring injury picked up at home against Liverpool ruled him out of this crucial clash and ultimately limited their attacking threat. In the whole 90 minutes, Spurs only carved out one real scoring opportunity to which Dele Alli should have scored after been put through by Christian Eriksen.
The winning of the game came down to a mixture of bad defending and the depth of Jose Mourinho’s squad. In the 70th minute, last season’s Golden Boy winner, Anthony Martial was subbed on in the place of Marcus Rashford.
It took him just eleven minutes to snatch victory as he latched onto Romelu Lukaku’s flick on to slot past his compatriot, Hugo Lloris, and send the Stretford End wild. On the balance of play, United probably deserved the win but once again Lukaku drew a blank against one of last season’s Top 6.
The big Belgian hasn’t netted since the end of September and has been subject to jeering from sections of the Old Trafford crowd. He came mightily close with a powerful downward header that struck the bottom of the post after he shrugged off the challenge of Toby Alderweireld.
Mourinho will be concerned with his form but not with the result as they stay within touching distance of their noisy neighbours.