In the last six months, Carlo Ancelotti has issued several warnings about the cracks in Madrid’s defensive system. In attack, on the other hand, they were fine, the Italian specified. A week ago, after drawing at Villamarín (0-0), the coach pointed to the offensive zone as the new cause of the lack of balance, a key concept in his command. Just a goal from set pieces against Atlético, Barcelona and Betis, he lamented. In the League, however, where his team is unable to keep up with Barcelona, the worrying signs in the scoring section start further back.
Since October, shortly before the first curves began in the white campaign with the World Cup in sight, their three reference attackers (Benzema, Vinicius and Rodrygo) have barely billed seven goals in play actions: four from the French (Barcelona, Elche, Valladolid and Athletic), three from Vini (Osasuna, Girona and Valencia), and none from his compatriot. His remaining five goals have come from penalties. A poor harvest in four effective months of competition. In the first month and a half of the course they made nine like this. Against Espanyol, this Saturday (2:00 p.m., Movistar), they have the first opportunity to start reversing the trend.
Madrid’s goalscoring balance in the League is almost identical to last season at this point, when it was calmly walking towards the title (then it had 48 goals for and 20 against, while this season it has accumulated 47 and 18), but insufficient generation of his trio premium In the tournament for such a long time, it has ended up weighing him down against a Barça team that does not slacken.
Outside of the championship, Benzema, Vinicius and Rodrygo, each with their circumstances, have maintained an acceptable production (19 goals played since October between all of them, compared to seven in the League), but in the day-to-day league they have gotten stuck , and the three of them are the ones who carry the backpack in the lead. Asensio is the second plate, Hazard and Mariano live in the depths of the earth, and last summer the incorporation of a nine that could help the French. The last minute resource has been the youth player Álvaro Rodríguez. Valverde’s corrective factor in the first section, and the stitches of Asensio, Modric and even Militão fall short if the reference shortlist stops adding coal to the bonfire of a League so demanding in points, more than the previous one, for now.
Benzema has lost a third of the championship for physical reasons
The noise around Benzema (35 years old) grows every week, fueled by his obvious difficulties in making a difference. In the last month and a half, in the League he has only scored two penalty goals against Elche, when in other competitions, despite his loss of offensive weight, he has four in the same period (two in the Champions League, and one in the Cup). and in the Club World Cup).
His physical condition has separated him from a third of the championship, either due to declared injuries, “muscular fatigue” that was claimed in the month before the World Cup or simple technical stops before a European event. This Friday it will be decided if he is ready to face Espanyol after a blow to his left ankle left him out of the last two training sessions. The sum of all the mishaps places him with six goals less (17-11) in the League than the previous season at this point, and almost half (five) of those achieved this season have been penalties.
Vinicius cannot be blamed for lack of activity or absences due to health problems; quite the contrary. But a fact rummages in his manifest discomfort every time he plays away from home in Spain: he has not scored away from home in the domestic tournament since August 28, in Cornellà. And neither does the Bernabéu fix his scoring statistics because since October he has barely added three goals in the entire League, plus three assists. He has fared much better beyond the league margins: in this same period, he has scored 10 goals in other competitions (five in the Champions League, three in the Club World Cup and two in the Cup).
In the last four months, Vinicius has barely scored three goals in the entire League
At bulk weight, Rodrygo improves compared to the previous year at this time: zero goals then in the championship and four in this one. The small print, however, warns that the reality of him is quite different compared to last season because he has participated twice and has become the first replacement for the episodic Benzema due to his ability to associate between the lines. His problems with the goal counter in the League are the same as his other two colleagues: he has not scored since the October classic in Chamartín (maximum penalty), he has not scored from play since the September derby in the Metropolitan and, meanwhile , in the rest of the tournaments he has produced six goals.
The distance in the eyes of Ancelotti between Benzema, Vinicius and Rodrygo, and the rest is so sensitive that the second echelon (Marco Asensio) has been pushed aside in the last clashes by the irruption of Álvaro Rodríguez. The Spaniard did not even come out in two moments of need; Neither against the lower block of Barça nor in a more open scenario like against Betis. His four goals so far in the League leave him where he always was, with flashes but without continuity. For its part, the announced probation of Hazard as nine Karim’s replacement did not happen in the championship on September 11 with Mallorca. Zero minutes since then.
“You have to be effective and look at yourself less,” Carletto claimed last Sunday. In the League, their three reference attackers suffer a scoring crisis.
Other figures of this scoring hole
Benzema He has missed nine complete league games due to physical stoppages (13 in the entire season). In the domestic tournament he has not linked more than five matches in a row. Against Betis and Atlético he was the Madrid outfield player (of the starters) who intervened the least: 58 and 29 times, respectively.
Vinicius Last season he had 12 goals in the championship at this point and in this one, seven. Since his last goal away from home in the tournament (August 28 in Cornellà), he has added 881 minutes without scoring at home. In total, 16 shots, eight of them on goal.
Rodrygo Accumulate 983 minutes without scoring in the League, since October 16 against Barcelona at home, when he scored a penalty. He hasn’t done it in play since September 18, against Atlético. Since then, he has made 48 shots, 15 of them on target in the tournament.
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