Real Madrid extended their 100% record in the 2022/23 campaign as they defeated RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night.
The Merengues were made to work hard by the German giants, who made a lively start to the game and put their hosts under the cosh. Indeed, Real Madrid needed Thibaut Courtois to bail them out on a few occasions in the first half as the likes of Christopher Nkunku and Timo Werner threatened.
It took some time, but Carlo Ancelotti’s side finally broke the deadlock in the 80th minute through Federico Valverde. Substitute Marco Asensio put the game to bed in stoppage time by making it 2-0.
The result meant that Real Madrid have now won each of their first eight matches across all competitions in 2022/23. It is the third-best start to a season in the club’s history after 1961/62 (11) and 1968/69 (11).
Following the victory on Wednesday, Los Blancos now have a 71.1% win percentage in 2022 across all competitions. It is their highest record for a calendar year since 2016.
Courtois once again came to Real Madrid’s rescue against RB Leipzig, making three saves on the night. The Belgian international has now stopped 24 of the last 25 shots he has faced in the Champions League, keeping three clean sheets in a row.
Valverde was once again on target for the Merengues. The Uruguayan has now been involved in six goals in his last nine games for Real Madrid in all competitions (3 goals and 3 assists), as many as in his previous 87 games for Los Blancos (4 and 2).
Asensio, who was in the headlines over the weekend for his touchline antics, got a chance on Wednesday. And he made the most of it by netting the second goal in stoppage time. With that strike, the 26-year-old has now scored 50 goals for Real Madrid in 238 matches.
Real Madrid maintain full confidence in Turkish starlet despite injury woes
Arda Guler’s Real Madrid stint has not gotten off to the start he would have hoped to have given the expectation that preceded the transfer.
Having joined in the summer after Real Madrid outbid their competition to win him over from Fenerbahce for a 20-million-euro fee, buzz was high as the winger was expected to slot into the team quite seamlessly, albeit on a rotational basis.
Unfortunately for the 18-year-old, he has been constantly marred by injuries since completing the move.
Reports have stated that after Guler picked up his third injury since his move, Real Madrid have been concerned and want to take things slow with the player to ensure he is fit as soon as possible after an injury to his quadriceps this time.
The Turk is yet to make his competitive debut for the club, and Real Madrid even sacked their medical chief in November, in light of their injury crises since the beginning of the season.
No loan deal for Guler
However, according to Fabrizio Romano in a recent YouTube video, he states that Madrid maintain full trust and patience in the youngster.
Despite his bad luck with injuries, the latest of which he is scheduled to return from after Christmas, the Galacticos have no intention of loaning out Guler to Turkish clubs despite lots of speculation of them doing so of late.
Romano states that Madrid remain firm on not shaking things up too much with the squad, and they want to keep their roster stable, including Arda Guler.
They want to extend their full support and protection to the player as he aims to return to full fitness and finally make his bow for Madrid either by the end of this month or in 2024.