LaLiga English

Real Madrid on the comeback trail with three wins despite Ramos injury

LaLiga defending champions Real Madrid are still quite some paces behind leaders Atletico Madrid, having been at the brink of a near state of emergency earlier this year, after bowing out of both the Supercopa de Espana and Copa del Rey in the span of a week.

The Los Blancos were also slipping in La Liga before finally finding their form to string together three successive wins, with the most recent victory coming against Valencia on Sunday, led by Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos to a 2-0 win at home at Valdebebas. The fairly comfortable game for the defending champions was indeed a far cry from the flaky form they were displaying in recent defeats against even much weaker teams.

Despite the vicissitudes faced, Los Blancos have managed to remain in the title race, despite being some distance behind Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid. That said, a less than stellar season from FC Barcelona has also aided the cause of Real in holding on to the second spot.

Besieged with injuries in the past months – most disturbing of which is a knee problem for captain Sergio Ramos who underwent surgery earlier this month and is expected to be out for several weeks – Real Madrid have somehow managed to cope without him.

With over a third of the Real Madrid squad currently sidelined, Zinedine Zidane has been forced to think outside the paradigm, even to the extent of allowing players like Sergio Arribas and Marvin Park to sstep in for the team, something that his critics have been clamouring for since his return. Zidane had been under heavy fire, criticised for practising favouritism in sticking to the same set of senior players he had been using since his first stint, effectively leaving potential new stars without an opportunity to prove their worth.

Thibaut Courtois, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric have been consistent, with everyone doing their part in holding down the fort in the absence of Ramos.

The Los Blancos have a crucial UEFA Champions League tie against Atalanta coming up, which would prove to be crucial to keep their hopes alive for some silverware this season.