One of the hallmarks of Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid sides has been that they just keep coming at you from start to finish, however, that hasn’t really happened in any of the games they’ve played this season, so is their juggernaut finally coming to a halt?
It isn’t just the lack of goals that appear to be the problem for Los Blancos, more the lack of a coherent team performance.
Real Sociedad aside, they’re just not hitting anywhere near the heights of 2016/17 to this point.
Against Alaves, a team that hadn’t scored all season, it took two from debutant Dani Ceballos to see them home, and the way in which the hosts took the game to Real was noticeable.
Barcelona have been guilty in the past of believing they just have to turn up to a game to win the three points and that minute seems to be afflicting those from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu at present.
The Champions League fixture against Borussia Dortmund now becomes imperative to win, if for nothing else to repair fading supporter confidence.
A seven point gap in the league after six rounds of fixtures could scarcely have been imagined though it’s still far, far too early to crown the Catalans.
What it does do is heap the pressure on Real Madrid before the end of September.
There isn’t enough zip about their play, and players are switching off in games, which is unheard of at this early stage.
Take a look at the way in which Real Betis were allowed to calmly stroke the ball around in injury time at the Bernabeu, Cristian Tello given the freedom of Madrid to push forward and help bring the move to its final, successful, conclusion.
For Zidane and Co. their next league game is against Espanyol, and if that particular game reverts to type then Real’s players will fly off to their respective national teams in good spirits.
Upon their return, the wheels of the juggernaut need to be oiled again.