Real Madrid’s lack of incision is a real cause for concern. For the first time since Cristiano Ronaldo left for Juventus, Real Madrid missed him. And Gareth Bale suffered another injury in the meantime.
In a goalless draw at home against city rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday, the Los Blancos looked blunt, failing to score for the second game running. Julen Lopetegui’s side was humiliated 3-0 by Sevilla on Wednesday. They were aiming to bounce back strongly against Atletico Madrid. But they had no cutting edge and ended up playing their part in a dour draw. Big players like Cristiano Ronaldo, show up in the big games. But his departure to Juventus in the summer, left a huge gap in the Real Madrid squad. They felt his absence in front of the goal. They lacked that penetration of Ronaldo.
Gareth Bale was the man supposed to take the throne in the absence of Real’s all-time top goalscorer. But unfortunately and predictably, the Welshman suffered a thigh injury and had to be replaced at half-time. Bale’s early performances this season showed plenty of promise. He has three goals under his belt already. Bale was the only attacking outlet for Real Madrid against Sevilla. He hit the post at one point. And against Atletico Madrid he sent an effort inches wide in the first half. But to the surprise of the fans he did not reappear for the second half. The young midfielder Dani Ceballos stepped into his shoes. The news that all Madrid fans were dreading emerged soon after.
Gareth Bale is injured again.
Isco is sidelined for potentially a month after having his appendix removed. Therefore Real Madrid are already short on creativity. So Bale’s latest injury-enforced absence thus comes as a devastating blow.
Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui said after the game that Bale would be assessed on Sunday. “Bale had discomfort in his abductor at half-time and as a precaution he didn’t come out for the second half.” said Lopetegui. Real Madrid will be hoping the damage is not serious, with a crucial match against Barcelona in La Liga approaching on October 28.
Ultimately, Real Madrid’s toothlessness in front of goal have cost them dearly. There is already a real danger of it becoming the recurring theme of the post-Ronaldo era.