The evening of 16th July in Madrid was a pleasant one until Real Madrid beat Villareal 2-1 to be crowned 2019-20 La Liga champions. No points for guessing, the city errupted into a celebratory rave!
Zinedine Zidane lead the team to the 34th league title, their first since 2016-17. His side have a tally of 86 points from 37 games. With only 3 games lost in the entire league campaign, Real Madrid have undoubtedly put up an excellent show this season.
Despite trailing Barcelona by two points upon the return of Spanish football from the Corona virus break, Real Madrid managed to beat them to the title, that too with a game to spare!
With 10 wins in their last 10 games, Real Madrid’s performance after the break has been absolutely flawless. Scoring 19 goals in 10 matches, the Los Blancos left Barcelona longing & helpless.
Striker Karim Benzema and Skipper Sergio Ramos have been in lethal form. Benzema with 21 goals, battles Messi for the La Liga top scorer this season. Sergio Ramos on the other hand has also been a goal-scoring beast with 8 goals to his name (while holding the fort as centre back)!
As the long-awaited celebration continues, one cannot argue with Real Madrid’s performance in the league this season. With just 3 losses and 13 draws, Real Madrid have taken over Spanish football once again!
This big and beautiful victory seems even more precious considering that the club had been a mess until last season. In 2018-19 Real Madrid ended their League campaign at 3rd position in the League. They had only 68 points and a total of 12 losses to their name. Their 2017-18 campaign was also a disgraceful one as they finished 3rd behind Barcelona & Ateltico Madrid.
Their downfall was attributed to the departure of mighty Cristiano Ronaldo and the inability of managers Julen Lopetegui & Santiago Solari to settle in & establish a winning team.
However, former Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane walked back into the Bernabeu to dust off the omen.
His arrival at Madrid has been a blessing to the fans!
He has managed to captain the sinking boat and travel the distance all the way to the top of the league. He is undoubtedly a fan favourite and holds an impeccable managerial record.
His return awakened hope among all & re-established the relation between fans and their beloved players. His success at reviving Real Madrid this season can be attributed to several factors.
Zidane’s reign at Madrid can be characterized by consistent squads and line-ups. While the previous managers experimented a lot, Zidane refrained from the same and played a relatively similar formation. This helped Real make the best out of Benzema’s attacking form, providing him the necessary support from the capable younsters; namely Vinicius, Brahim, Valverde, Mendy, Rodrygo & even Asensio.
The midfield with Kroos, Modric and Casemiro also played a key role in the attack-defence transition and distribution of the ball.
2. Immaculate Attacking
Zidane put his faith in Benzema despite him being labeled Past his Prime. Benzema made the best of this. The Frenchman put up a show & scored 26 goals making 11 assists.
He was flawless and had even had an impressive goalscoring streak right before the lockdown. Young talents Vinicius, Valverde & Asensio were also invited to contribute.
Even Eden Hazard was given his chance at attacking under Zidane. Captain Sergio Ramos too had a huge contribution to attacking, especially after the restart.
The Los Blancos scored a total of 68 league goals this season, which is the 2nd highest in La Liga.
It takes more than just goals to win titles.
A firm defence was what helped the Whites sail through. The Ramos-Varane duo was supported by Courtois in goal.
Real having conceded just 23 goals holds the impressive record of having conceded the least number of goals at across the top 5 leagues (after League 1 team – Stade De Reims, 21)
Real Madrid have also managed to keep 18 clean sheets.
Goalkeeper Courtois had an amazing season and is even competing with Jan Oblak (17 clean sheets) for the Zamora trophy for most clean sheets in La Liga.
Full backs Marcelo & Carvajal also played their part well in ensuring movement of the ball up the pitch from the defence line.
4. Team Alterations
Zidane returned and restored the squad.
Zidane started with bringing back Marcelo into the starting-eleven. Marcelo’s return also had instant results on the gameplay of the team. He also made the best of Fede Valverde, a new favourite among the Madridstas now. The youngster was given a platform to showcase his capabilities & give more to the team.
Apart from the squad, Zidane also experimented a bit with the formations. He tried playing Bale, Isco, Vasquez, Hazard & ocassionally Valverde on the wings.
These changes helped the team become more comfortable with attacking & make the best of Benzema’s goal scoring form.
It also helped cope up with the jam-packed match schedule, especially after the restart.
5. The Flawless 10-Game Pursuit
As we looked back to decode their title win, what we couldn’t afford to overlook was – The 10 game unbeaten streak.
At a time when teams returned from the Pandemic and were struggling to regain their stride, Real did the impossible. Trailing Barcelona by 2 points, the immense pressure was all well absorbed by the team.
They scored 19 goals in 10 games and did not give the struggling Barcelona even one mistake to take advantage of. Their run was perfect; they did not drop even a single point after the break and managed to lift the title with 1 game to spare!
The season has been a roller coaster! The competition has been neck-to-neck and extremely thrilling all throughout the year. The result, has also been just as incredible.
So as we conclude the analysis, we can finally say that Zinedine Zidane & his men have been nothing short of Outstanding to pull off this triumph. The team deserves everything – The title; The celebration; The praise & finally some relaxation (That their ‘Star Player’ Gareth Bale has already been practicing for!).
Y Nada mas!