Any Real Madrid fan leaving the Bernabeu on January the 6th after defeat to Real Sociedad would have been well in their rights to question the goings-on at the club. Sociedad had just kept Los Blancos out at home and recorded an unlikely 2-0 win which came on the back of a shambolic defensive performance away to Villareal.
If you were to cast your mind back to two weeks before the draw at the Estadio de la Ceramica, when Madrid welcomed CSKA Moscow to the Bernabeu on matchday 6 of the Champions League, you realise there was genuine cause for concern. The Russian outfit ran amok in the Spanish capital as they beat Santiago Solari’s men 3-0 in a game that was virtually meaningless for Real Madrid given that they were already guaranteed a spot in the next round, but it was another lethargic display that was becoming all too familiar.
How close Solari came to getting the sack on the night of January the 6th is anyone’s guess but one thing you can be sure about is that there was a discussion of sorts about his future. The board at Real Madrid went against their natural instincts and stuck with him which could prove to be vital for Madrid’s trophy prospects this season.
Real Madrid are the first team to win away to Ajax in a competitive game this season.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 13, 2019
Their season starts in February. 📅 pic.twitter.com/ELHUFTMscf
Los Blancos have won five on the bounce in the league since losing to Sociedad with their latest conquest being a sublime away performance at Atletico Madrid to win 3-1 and claim a massive derby win. A spirited draw at the Nou Camp is another sign of Madrid’s improvement and gives them a vital away goal in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final. The revival doesn’t stop there as the Galacticos travelled to the Johan Cruyff Arena in the last 16 of the Champions League and rolled over the Dutch giants Ajax 2-1.
Despite being last years winners of the Champions League Madrid are at outside odds of 9/1 in football betting to repeat their heroics but that may well be likely to change given it looks like they have their sights firmly locked on European glory again. Even if there has been a perceived crisis at the Bernabeu over the years they have never really faulted in Europe and have always been able to disconnect themselves from whatever domestic issues may be going on.
Now that they are flying in La Liga and only six points behind Barcelona who looked at one stage to have an unassailable lead, it seems the title race is very much back on. Don’t forget, after the loss to Sociedad Guillem Balague categorically said Madrid had thrown away their title chances and at that stage, it seemed the 51-year-old was once again, correct.
A month down the line and Real Madrid could conceivably win the treble but at the very least you would have to imagine they will win one of the competitions they are still in. Few teams in world football do unorthodox like Real Madrid but they’re at the irresistible best when they’re unpredictable.