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 By Rob Train

As Real's slide continues, Perez should be wary of drastic changes

The FC crew break down Real Madrid's latest setback, a home loss to Villarreal, and examine the persisting struggles of Cristiano Ronaldo.

"I believe we need a change of direction," said Florentino Perez in February 2006 when announcing his resignation as president of Real Madrid.

At that stage of the 2005-06 season, Madrid were lagging behind Barcelona in La Liga after being beaten by Mallorca -- a more considerable force in Spain then than now -- and had just been knocked out of the Copa del Rey at the semifinal stage despite rallying to win 4-0 at home after a 6-1 first-leg thrashing at the hands of Zaragoza in La Romareda.

"Something...

Cristiano Ronaldo to Man United: Has Real Madrid star cried wolf too many times?

The FC crew cast doubt on Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Manchester United, despite his recent dip in form and reports of tension at Real Madrid.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Alexis Nunes tackle the latest transfer rumours surrounding N'Golo Kante, Andy Carroll, Cristiano Ronaldo and more.
Christian Pulisic reveals his admiration for Lionel Messi, saying he has always been his favourite player.
The FC crew break down Real Madrid's latest setback, a home loss to Villarreal, and examine the persisting struggles of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Zinedine Zidane backs Cristiano Ronaldo to avoid his first three-match goalless drought for Real Madrid since April 2017 with a goal against Villarreal.

Manchester United are understandably wary about Cristiano Ronaldo's camp once again claiming that the Real Madrid star wants to return to Old Trafford -- although this time around it might actually be true.

Spanish newspaper AS reported on Monday's front page that Ronaldo feels betrayed by Madrid president Florentino Perez having reneged on a promise to improve his contract and his "priority" is now to return to United. A source close to Ronaldo told ESPN FC that the report was accurate.

This mirrors...

Zinedine Zidane must fix Real Madrid fast, but he's not solely to blame

The FC crew break down Real Madrid's latest setback, a home loss to Villarreal, and examine the persisting struggles of Cristiano Ronaldo.
After Real Madrid's first-ever home defeat to Villarreal in La Liga, Craig Burley questions whether Zinedine Zidane can turn the ship around.
Real Madrid's Zinedine Zidane cannot explain his team's struggles in front of goal following their shock defeat to Villarreal.

It's fair to say that Zinedine Zidane is currently under the most personal and professional pressure he's suffered since being sent off in the 2006 World Cup Final for head-butting Marco Materazzi.

From historically good: Eight trophies in his first two years at the helm of Real Madrid, the first man to win consecutive Champions Leagues and the author of Los Blancos status as Spanish and European champions for the first time since 1958, his team has nosedived.

Madrid languish in fourth, 19 points...

Suarez sparks Barcelona comeback win at Real Sociedad with brace, assist

Barcelona stormed back in the second half to end a seven-match league winless run at Real Sociedad's Anoeta Stadium with a 4-2 win.

Barcelona produced a stunning second-half performance to come from two goals down to beat Real Sociedad 4-2 on Sunday, ending a 10-year wait for a win at Anoeta in La Liga.

Barca's last win in the league in San Sebastian came in 2007, and they looked set for another defeat when Willian Jose and Juanmi gave the hosts a deserved two-goal advantage in the first half.

Paulinho pulled one back before the break, though, and Ernesto Valverde's side took over in the second half. Luis Suarez scored...

 By Matt McGinn

Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid wasteful again in defeat to Villarreal

After Real Madrid's first-ever home defeat to Villarreal in La Liga, Craig Burley questions whether Zinedine Zidane can turn the ship around.
Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score for the third match in a row as a late goal lifted Villarreal past Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid's chances of winning La Liga shrink even more after conceding a late winner to Villarreal's Pablo Fornals.
Real Madrid's chances of winning La Liga shrink even more after conceding a late winner to Villarreal's Pablo Fornals.

Real Madrid sunk deeper into depression as Pablo Fornals' late winner secured a first Liga victory for Villarreal at the Bernabeu. If Barcelona beat Real Sociedad on Sunday evening, Real Madrid will be closer to the relegation zone than first place.

Real MadridReal Madrid
VillarrealVillarreal
0
1
FT
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Positives

Statisticians will maintain that Madrid are creating enough chances to win matches, and at some point, their results will start to reflect that. They finished the match with an "expected goals" (xG) figure of 2.50.

Negatives

Villarreal...

Is Zinedine Zidane in danger of Real Madrid exit after Villarreal defeat?

After Real Madrid's first-ever home defeat to Villarreal in La Liga, Craig Burley questions whether Zinedine Zidane can turn the ship around.
Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score for the third match in a row as a late goal lifted Villarreal past Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid's Zinedine Zidane cannot explain his team's struggles in front of goal following their shock defeat to Villarreal.

MADRID, Spain -- Real Madrid are officially in crisis after Saturday afternoon's 0-1 La Liga defeat at home to Villarreal, and coach Zinedine Zidane is now in serious danger of losing his job, with his inability to even explain what is going wrong testing the nerves of everyone around the club.

Such a situation seemed almost impossible just last August, when Madrid were reigning Spanish and European champions, and Zidane looked to be the perfect manager for the Bernabeu dressing room's mix of...