Real Madrid could not have asked for a better performance against Real Zaragoza as it cruised to a 4-0 win, but the victory will mean little if the momentum does not carry over into the team’s upcoming Champions League rematch against Borussia Dortmund.
The win is the latest in a string of fine La Liga outings for the reigning Spanish champions, and they have now moved up to third place in the table.
After a rough start to its league campaign, Madrid found itself in a strangely low spot in the standings, but order has nearly restored itself. Atletico Madrid is still keeping the Galácticos out of the Top Two spots, but another La Liga race between Madrid and Barcelona seems inevitable.
With more performances such as this past blow out, the balance of power in domestic competition will restore itself, but Madrid faces a far less certain future in Europe.
Coming off a loss to Borussia Dortmund in its last Champions League fixture, Madrid cannot afford another off day in the Group of Death. The team currently sits one point off the reigning Bundesliga champs and is in a qualifying spot.
But if Madrid fails to come away with points once again, there will be little room for error going forward. Both Ajax and Manchester City possess more than enough firepower to punish any of the team’s mistakes in the upcoming matches.
A win against Dortmund will have an extremely positive impact on Madrid’s UCL campaign, and Jose Mourinho should ensure that momentum carries over from this match.
Luka Modric put on a fantastic performance against Zaragoza, and the new boy should be on the pitch on Tuesday. His excellent form made Madrid a dangerous attacking team this weekend, and his presence during the week will keep the Galácticos in rhythm. In addition, Sergio Ramos was back on the right side of the defense instead of playing at centre-back, and his presence will allow for constant pressure in the attack.
These small tweaks allow for Madrid to be fluid and dynamic going forward, and the team must have this level of quality in the attack against Dortmund. Mourinho should be looking for continuity when he picks his lineup against Dortmund. Modric and Ramos are two players who should be left alone on Tuesday in order to keep the team’s momentum rolling.
This next UCL fixture is of vital importance, and Mourinho should not try to fix something that is not broken. He does not need to throw out the exact same 11, but the players who performed at a high level against Zaragoza should not be moved for the match against Dortmund.