Opinion The opinion of Carlos Carpio
They don’t have a goalscorer. They don’t have a Galactico. They don’t even really know who should partner Karim Benzema in attack. However, Real Madrid do already have more points than their rivals and have reached the October international break at the top of the LaLiga Santander standings.
This is the post-lockdown Real Madrid and the post-Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid. They are a team that don’t thrill, but they’re the reigning champions and they get results. As they wait for better times in order to sign a superstar player to make the difference in attack, the likes of which Los Blancos have almost always had, Zinedine Zidane has managed to convince these European champions to put in the effort that makes up for any lack of quality. Their increased high pressing allows Real Madrid to win the ball back high up the pitch and to cause surprises close to the opposition area.
When it comes to causing surprises, Vinicius takes charge when allowed to. His coach will end up giving in to the evidence that Vinicius offers more than all the alternatives. He has scored two goals already this season and they were both to make it 1-0. The most threatening attack Real Madrid have right now is to have Vinicius up front with Benzema and with Marco Asensio on the other wing. If they also have Luka Modric playing like he did on Sunday then everything becomes easier. He managed the game on Sunday like only the absent Toni Kroos can also manage.
Real Madrid suffered against Levante because they let them off the hook when they had chances. They left Levante alive and this then led to Thibaut Courtois having to make four saves. That means Real Madrid’s most in-form player is their goalkeeper. This Real Madrid side doesn’t have the star power of years gone by, although they definitely do in the goalkeeping position.