No Ronaldo, No Goals â€“ Sporting Gijon 0:0 Real Madrid
Are Real Madrid feeling the pressure born from the hundreds of millions dollars Florentino Perez spent on the squad? Are they rather slow to gel as a team and handle major absentees?
In other words, are Real Madrid suffering from the Cristiano Ronaldo Syndrome?
In any case, Saturdayâ€™s result away to Sporting Gijon in the Spanish Primera Liga could not give a positive response to all these questions.
Real Madrid entered last weekendâ€™s league game with the home defeat against AC Milan in the Champions League still ringing in the back of their minds.
Virtually and analytically, it was clear that Real Madridâ€™s weakness came from defensive mistakes. Indeed, conceding seven goals in only three matches is definitely a poor record â€“ especially for a side as illustrious as Real Madrid.
On Saturday, the Spanish Giants succeeded in keeping their lines free from any goal. Unfortunately for Real Madrid, things didnâ€™t go so well for them at the other end of the field.
Esteban Granero had a very good shot saved by Sporting Gijonâ€™s goalkeeper during the game. In the last minutes, Raul thought he had given Real Madrid the three points. However, his goal was disallowed by the referees who claimed that Kaka had handled the ball before making the assist.
It is true that Real Madrid were also missing the services of strikers Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain, but was these absentees the cause behind the teamâ€™s failure to score and win?
Well, Real Madrid could not do what Barcelona did earlier in the season â€“ which was to beat Sporting Gijon.
In the end, Los Blancos failed to put pressure on the Blaugrana by leapfrogging them at the top of the table for at least 24 hours.
Finally on Sunday, it was the Catalans who had the final word after thrashing Real Zaragoza 6-1 at the Camp Nou to create a three-point lead at the top of the Spanish Primera Liga standings.
It is so early in the season, yet Real Madrid already seem to shake. It looks like Kaka, Xabi Alonso, or Alvaro Arbeloa have not found their correct rhythm. Besides that, there is also the case of injuries going on in the squad.
Real Madrid certainly need more time to become the strong side that so many fans around the world would love to watch playing.
The questions are: how long will it take for Los Blancos to transform their financial value into an indestructible footballing force? Who is holding their success? Cristiano Ronaldo or destiny?