Real Madrid Kicked Off Their UEFA Champions League Campaign In Style In September
The month started with an away victory over fellow title-contenders Valencia. Following an international break, Real Madrid returned to action with a home-ground defeat of Espanyol. Galatasaray proved to be no challenge to a rampant Los Blancos
side in the opening game of the UEFA Champions League group stages, and confident victories over Sevilla (A), Girona (A) and Mallorca (H) rounded off a successful month for Christian Schäfer's men.
vs Valencia (03/09/2023) Liga BBVA
It was a match of tactical experimentation for Christian Schäfer as he set his team up in an unorthodox 4-6-0 formation. The tactical surprise paid dividends in the end, as Real Madrid claimed all three points.
The goalscoring took place late on, as Cristiano Ronaldo broke the deadlock with fifteen minutes to go when he flicked Bernat's low cross beyond Simon Mignolet in Valencia's goal to give the away side the lead. Valencia equalised through Pero Susnjar, who scored a sensational free-kick from all of thirty yards out. Real Madrid replied immediately as Leonel Cardozo (DC) powered a header in to the top corner from James Rodríguez' corner.
Ismail Azzaoui (Valencia) 9.0
vs RCD Espanyol (16/09/2023) Liga BBVA
The international break allowed Real Madrid players to rest before returning to action against Espanyol. Needless to say, Los Blancos
claimed all three points.
An early red card for Espanyol defender Rafael put them under excruciating pressure and Leonel Cardozo got on the score sheet once more, scoring a header from yet another exception James Rodríguez corner. Hirving Lozano got on the end of Alessandro Florenzi's cross to double Real Madrid's lead before Cristiano Ronaldo teed up Juan Bernat to seal the victory.
Alessandro Florenzi (Real Madrid) 9.0
vs Galatasaray SK (20/09/2023) UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid crushed Galatasaray in the opening game of the UEFA Champions League group stages, with French striker Anthony Martial starring in an emphatic victory.
Martial opened the scoring after ten minutes when Toni Kroos picked him out with a 50 yard pass, and the French striker found the top corner when one-on-one. Hirving Lozano found Andrés Cubas on the edge of the area, with the latter curling a shot in to the bottom corner to double the lead. Martial added his second when Real Madrid stole the ball in Galatasaray's half, punishing them in the end. Turkish attacker Okan Kazancı pulled one back before half-time, but Real Madrid substitute Anders Arnesen put the game beyond doubt in the second half following a quick counter-attacking move.
Anthony Martial (Real Madrid) 9.2
vs Sevilla (24/09/2023) Liga BBVA
There was no sense of a European hangover for Real Madrid as they powered their way to an impressive away victory against Sevilla.
Anthony Martial continued his impressive start to the campaign when he got on the end of an Andrés Cubas cross to header in the first goal of the game for Real Madrid. Sevilla won a penalty on the brink of half-time, and Andreas Pereira calmly dispatched the spot-kick to level the game. Real Madrid were not to be denied three points, as Anthony Martial cushioned a header to the onrushing Isco who volleyed Real Madrid's second of the game, before Cebolinha clipped Danilo's cross in to the top corner to secure all three points.
Hirving Lozano (Real Madrid) 8.6
vs Girona (27/09/2023) Liga BBVA
Real Madrid named a much-weakened side against Girona, with rare starts handed to Sergio Rico, Arthur Masuaku and Anders Arnesen, while a number of other fringe players started.
Deputy goalkeeper Sergio Rico was handed his debut against Girona, and he may have been excused for conceding as Michele Foglia opened the scoring with a goal of the season contender, scoring a screamer from distance. Despite Real Madrid's best efforts, they had to rely on goals from substitutes in the final fifteen minutes for victory, as an Anthony Martial brace and a thunderbolt from Hirving Lozano secured the victory.
Anthony Martial (Real Madrid) 8.9
vs RCD Mallorca (30/09/2023) Liga BBVA
rounded off the month with a crushing home victory over Mallorca.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring with a first-time effort following good play between Anthony Martial and Eden LuaLua. The Portuguese attacker doubled his, and Real Madrid's, tally when he pounced on a loose ball in the box to beat the goalkeeper. Anthony Martial was on the score sheet once more as he had the goal at his mercy following a deflected Danilo cross. Hirving Lozano profited from another Danilo cross, as his shot was too powerful for the goalkeeper to keep out.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 9.2
Player Of The Month
It was a fantastic month for Hirving Lozano
, who found himself in the team more often than not due to the absence of injured James Rodríguez. The Mexican wide-man scored three goals in a productive month as he settled in to his team very well.
Hirving Lozano's Season Stats:
Goals: 5 (126 minutes per goal)
Assists: 5 (126 minutes per assist)
MotM Awards: 1
Pass Completion Ratio: 76% (186/246)
Shots On Target Ratio: 84% (21/25)
Dribbles Completed: 31 (3.44 per game)
Tackles Won: 4 (0.44 per game)
Fouls Committed: 2 (0.22 per game)
Fouls Against: 13 (1.44 per game)
Yellow Cards: 0
Red Cards: 0
Average Rating: 8.09
Six wins from six so far in the league finds Real Madrid on top, three points ahead of Barcelona who have a game in hand. Real Madrid's goal scoring record has been superior to anybody else so far, and they will look to keep it that way for the remainder of the season.
Highest Average Rating
(FC Barcelona) - 8.78
2. Hirving Lozano
(Real Madrid) - 8.70
3. Andrija Zivkovic
(FC Barcelona) - 8.46
4. Andrés Cubas
(Real Madrid) - 8.52
5. Mateo Kovacic
(Real Madrid) - 8.28
Top Goal Scorer
1. Anthony Martial
(Real Madrid) - 5 goals
2. Marco Sangalli
(RCD Mallorca) - 4 goals
=. Luis Suárez
(FC Barcelona) - 4 goals
=. Juan Muñoz
(Villarreal) - 4 goals
=. Hirving Lozano
(Real Madrid) - 4 goals
=. Jovan Krkanovic
(Granada) - 4 goals
(RCD Mallorca) - 3 assists
(Atlético Madrid) - 3 assists
=. Martin Ødegaard
(FC Barcelona) - 3 assists
=. Hirving Lozano
(Real Madrid) - 3 assists
(FC Barcelona) - 3 assists
=. Peter Hendriks
(Real Sociedad) - 3 assists
=. Bemjamín Vázquez
(Granada) - 3 assists
Most Clean Sheets
1. Mathew Ryan
(Real Sporting Gijón) - 5 clean sheets
2. Óscar Whalley
(Real Zaragoza) - 4 clean sheets
=. Marc-André ter Stegen
(FC Barcelona) - 4 clean sheets
=. Nathan Le Guen
(Villarreal) - 4 clean sheets
5. Vicente Guaita
(Getafe) - 3 clean sheets
=. Juan Carlos Triviño
(Real Madrid) - 3 clean sheets
=. Simon Mignolet
(Valencia) - 3 clean sheets
=. Álex Remiro
(Athletic Bilbao) - 3 clean sheets
UEFA Champions League
The 4-1 victory against Galatasaray puts Real Madrid top of their group. Bayern München and RSC Anderlecht drew in the other game, meaning Los Blancos
are clearly on top. Upcoming fixtures will certainly decide the fate of the group.
An away game against Bayern München awaits Real Madrid next month. This will certainly be the most testing game of the month before Los Blancos
face Granada, Athletic Bilbao, RSC Anderlecht and Celta de Vigo. Real Madrid will be expected to pick up a full set of nine points from the league.
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