Real Madrid continued its early-season revival under new manager Santiago Solari, winning its third straight match since the Argentine boss took over for Julen Lopetegui in late October. A 5-0 away win over Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League group stage on Wednesday brought the team more positive vibes after a disastrous start to the season. Let’s break down what you need to know about the result.
Real finds its scoring boots
Real Madrid’s attack was atrocious for most of the season. It’s not that there wasn’t creativity. Putting the ball away in the final third seemed almost impossible for this team for a good stretch where it went over 400 minutes without scoring.
The team recently experienced an eight-game stretch where it scored only five goals. In the past three games (against Melilla, Real Valladolid and Plzen) under a new leadership, Real has found the back of the net 11 times. Karim Benzema, who has regained his form, netted a brace, and Toni Kroos managed to do this in the cakewalk:
Solari has his team playing with confidence
It’s been interesting to watch Solari’s journey. He’s from Argentina and played Division III soccer in New Jersey before becoming a European soccer star. As a player, he was always calm and collective with the ball and relied on his vision to create opportunities. And his team is starting to play like that once again.
Time and time again the frustration has gotten to Real and it has resulted in long balls over the top, sloppy play and more. It’s a different story if you watch this team now. The teamwork, confidence and the belief that they are a team are all back, and that’s critical to any team’s success. It’s unlikely that Real is “back,” but it is taking the steps thanks to Solari.
Real Madrid goes to Roma on Nov. 27, while CSKA Moscow welcomes Viktoria Plzen. Real Madrid and Roma can both clinch with a victory. You can stream all Champions League games on TNT, and the Univision networks through fuboTV (Try for free).
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