Real Madrid’s recent home games without Cristiano Ronaldo have resulted in two draws and four dropped points, against Valencia and Levante respectively.
In both those games, neither of the other members of their BBC trio, Karim Benzema or Gareth Bale, managed to hit the net and turn one point into three.
Last year, when there was no Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane could call upon the likes of Alvaro Morata or James Rodriguez but it appears that Cristiano-dependency has very much set in at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Following Morata’s departure for Chelsea, Real didn’t look for a replacement centre forward but recent results show that they may have needed one, as Mariano also exited the club for Lyon.
Borja Mayoral is still very much untested for Los Blancos and it leaves Zidane with some decisions to make for the trip to the Estadio Anoeta, where he will be without Ronaldo and Benzema.
However, for Levante, to go to the Bernabeu on their return to the top flight on the third week of the season and leave with a point is of great credit to them.
In one of Zidane’s experiments against them, he tested out both Marcelo and Theo Hernandez on the left in the same side, although it didn’t quite work out for them.
They often robbed each other of space and the lines appeared somewhat blurred between them as they were unsure of how to work within the system.
Levante goal hero Ivi Lopez also deserves special mention as he left Getafe two years ago in order to try his luck with Sevilla B, where 14 goals last season offered him the chance in LaLiga.
He already has two this year and was a constant nuisance for Dani Carvajal throughout, his performance capped off with a goal.