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Real Madrid lose to Villarreal at the Bernabeu in La Liga for the first time ever — the end of Zizou?

Pablo Fornals scored in the 88th minute to heap more misery on Los Blancos

Six months ago Zinedine Zidane was on top of the world.

His Real Madrid side were undoubtedly the best team in the world after edging out Barcelona to win La Liga and lifting yet another Champions League trophy after an emphatic win over Juventus in Cardiff.

As unlikely as it seemed, many started to ponder if Zizou was just as good in the dugout as he was on the pitch.

Hello darkness, my old friend…

EPA
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Hello darkness, my old friend…

Today, his job hangs in the balance.

Real Madrid’s latest slip-up, a loss at home to Villarreal, keeps them 16 points adrift of league leaders Barcelona with both clubs having played 18 games.

Los Blancos’ fourth loss of the season has heaped further pressure on Zidane, who has appeared uncharacteristically flustered in recent weeks.

The French gaffer has been critical of the media’s speculation regarding his job security.

Historically, such complaints have come just before an unceremonious firing, or a ‘Florentino Perez special’ as it’s known.

A historic win for Villarreal

REUTERS
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A historic win for Villarreal

21-year-old Pablo Fornals scored the game’s only goal as Villarreal beat Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in La Liga for the first time in their history.

The visitors deserve credit for weathering the storm as the hosts unleashed 28 shots at goal, ten of which were blocked, and 11 of which were off target.

Cristiano Ronaldo had the best of Real’s chances — the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was presented with a tap-in opportunity but seemed to lose his balance before tamely directing his effort straight at keeper Sergio Asenjo.

Another tough day at the office

Getty Images - Getty
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Another tough day at the office

The 32-year-old’s domestic form has been a cause of concern in Madrid.

Ronaldo has scored just four goals in the league this season and will have to improve significantly if he is to keep up his eight-season streak of scoring 25+ goals in a La Liga campaign.

Gareth Bale was also relatively ineffective before he was replaced by Marco Asensio midway through the second half.

Reals superstar frontline are finding goals harder to come by than usual

REUTERS
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Reals superstar frontline are finding goals harder to come by than usual

The stats make for miserable reading.

Marcelo attempted 16 crosses, 13 of which were unsuccessful, his worst record in a league game for Real Madrid.

This is the first time the club have lost consecutive home games in La Liga since 2009.

Zidane’s troops have already dropped more points than they did the whole of last season.

Their total of 32 points after 18 games is their worst since 2005/06 — the season Perez resigned midway through the campaign, ending his first term in charge.

Is this the end of Zidane’s reign?

AFP or licensors
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Is this the end of Zidane’s reign?

Zidane has nobly repeated his belief that the current squad has the resources available to reverse the club’s fortunes but this latest result will undoubtedly lead to calls for new recruits.

However, it may be change in managerial personnel that comes before a new Galactico.

Life comes at us fast, even for legends like Zizou.


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