At some point, the goals will come for Cristiano Ronaldo. But for now, struggling to cope in his new, more central position, both he and Real Madrid are looking bad in the opening of the La Liga season, and with a little less luck might have been already trailing and chasing their biggest rivals.
Real Madrid struggle when they play in Andalusia, and their visit to Granada was no different. They did score an early goal through Karim Benzema, but the rest wasn’t really worth mentioning. Casemiro brought Diego Buonanotte inside the box and should have been penalized for it, but no whistle was heard. Pepe and Diego Lopez each had his own moment of defensive heroics. Great football? For now Carlo Ancelotti is pleased with the fact that he has 6 points.
Quite a few questions hang above the head of their manager and a few players. The goalkeeper position, and the interest from the Premier League in almost everyone of their attacking players, except for Cristiano Ronaldo, although his connection with Manchester United is well known. Karim Benzema, for now, doesn’t seem to have the Arsenal interest in him bother him, scoring his second goal of the season.
The others? Disappointing. Isco played in a more retreated role than he’s used to, next to Luka Modric in the middle of the pitch. Instead of helping Real Madrid find it easy to retain possession, it created plenty of chances for Granada, especially in the second half, even with Casemiro on the pitch, to find it quite easy to press Real Madrid, force turnovers and look quite dangerous through the counter attacks.
Angel Di Maria did get the start amid the rumors of Arsenal wanting to buy him as well, but he didn’t do much. Mesut Ozil scored a goal, but it was disallowed. It was hard to find anyone in charge of creating goals for Real Madrid that was actually deserving of some commendation at the end of the match.
Everyone is waiting for Gareth Bale. Mesut Ozil isn’t happy about being substituted for a second time in so many matches. Luka Modric is also somehow linked to Manchester United, even though he’s getting more credit and minutes from Ancelotti than he did from his predecessor.
For now, there’s nothing to be too proud of from Real Madrid’s ability. Ancelotti does have an organized team capable of switching formations during the match without it affecting their ability too much, but the standards aren’t that high so far. Sergio Ramos and Pepe continue to struggle with crosses and man marking because of the weak defensive midfield in front of them. There seems to be something disjointed between several units on the pitch,.
Maybe it’s all up to Cristiano Ronaldo to complete. Real Madrid are in imperfect team until Xabi Alonso returns or Asier Illarramendi shows he’s worth the money spent on him. Ronaldo is their only visible edge over others by not needing to be involved in a good match from his team in order to score and dominate. So far, things haven’t been working out for him, so the weaknesses of Real Madrid are even easier to observe.