Real Madrid have surpassed the Spanish record for most unbeaten games in a row with a 3-3 draw against Sevilla in the Copa Del Rey Round of 16. Barcelona held the previous record of 39 matches unbeaten between October 2015 and April 2016. Their majestic run was ended by Madrid only, who beat them 2-1 at Camp Nou. Madrid lost their next match against Wolfsburg in the Champions League quarters. But they have not tasted defeat since then.
It has been a dream debut year in charge for Zinedine Zidane. He has just lost twice in more than a year. And since the loss to Wolfsburg, Madrid have not put a foot wrong. In the process, Zidane has already landed three major titles to the club, including the 11th Champions League title. Many critics have labelled Zidane as a ‘lucky’ coach, to get away with results without performing that well. But to go 40 games without a defeat is not child’s play.
The two most note-worthy things about this Madrid side is their depth in squad and their fighting spirit.
Comparing the runs of Barcelona and Real Madrid, the Catalan club won 32 matches of the 39 matches, while the Merengues have won 30 of 40. The Blancos have scored 115 goals compared to Barcelona’s 122, and have conceded 39, 16 more than Barcelona (23). But the incredible thing about Madrid’s run is the number of different scorers in that time. While Barcelona had 12 players who contributed to the scoresheet, 22 of the all-whites managed to put the ball in the back of the net. This shows the depth in the Madrid squad.
The spirit of this Real Madrid side is second to none. Many a times in this wonderful run, they have looked down and out. But every single time, they have responded like true champions. After losing 2-0 to Wolfsburg in the first leg, they came back to win 3-0, thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo masterpiece. Then in the UEFA Super Cup final, trailing 2-1 to Sevilla, Sergio Ramos hit an equaliser in the third minute of injury time. They went on to win the final 3-2 after Carvajal netted the winner in the 119th minute.
Then in the Clasico this season, Madrid trailed Barcelona 1-0. But again Ramos came from to head home the equaliser in the 89th minute and snatch an all important point in the context of the league title. Just the following week at the Bernabeu, Madrid fell 2-1 behind against Deportivo la Coruna. First it was Mariano Diaz, who scored the equaliser in the 84th minute. And then it was Ramos yet again, as the Blancos captain headed the winner in the second minute of injury time. And again Madrid looked down and out against Sevilla last night. But it was a Ramos penalty and then a Benzema goal that snatched a 3-3 draw to set a new Spanish record.
This Madrid side is very determined to win it all. They look good with a four point lead over second placed Sevilla in the league. They have also progressed to the Champions League round of 16 where they face Napoli, and they face Celta Vigo in the Copa Del Rey quarter finals.