Real Madrid are always a formidable opponent for any team, but with Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, they are now looking more dangerous than ever in Europe. Cristiano Ronaldo is improving by the week, and his incredible scoring record continues to improve. They are lagging behind in La Liga after a sluggish star, but they are firing on all cylinders in Europe.
Using statistics from Squawka, we can compare Madrid's performances in the Champions League to their La Liga form.
With 14 goals in four Champions League matches, Madrid are averaging 3.5 goals per game. That is significantly better than in La Liga, where they've scored 40 goals in 14 matches—an average of 2.8 per match.
The increased tally in Europe is down to Ronaldo's stunning form. The Portuguese goalscoring machine has scored eight goals in the group stages so far, one more than Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Spanish giants have won all but one of their games in Group B and look a real threat to secure their 10th European crown.
Domestically, they have found their form as Ancelotti has discovered a winning formula. World record signing Gareth Bale has started scoring and doesn't look like he'll stop any time soon, either.
Their chance creation is incredible, too. With players like Luka Modric, Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira and Isco in midfield, it is no wonder that they've created 213 chances in their 14 Liga games. That's an average of 15.2 per game. In comparison to their European performances, it is better, as they average 13 chances created every match in Europe.
The next statistic, collected by Squawka, proves how much more clinical Madrid have been in Europe than in La Liga so far this season. After four Champions League matches, the Spaniards have taken 57 shots, an average of 14.25 per game. In La Liga, they've hit 231 shots at an average of 16.5 every match. This shows how dangerous they've been in Europe so far and how much of a threat they are going forward.
This is dangerous for the other teams vying for European glory. Ronaldo is known for shooting regularly but he has scored eight goals from 22 shots himself, which is a conversion rate of 36.4 percent—a phenomenal figure.
Real have also dominated possession more in Europe than on home soil. It's only a slight difference, but Los Blancos dominate 54 percent of the ball in the Champions League compared to 52 percent in La Liga.
If that wasn't enough, their defence is also better in Europe. They've leaked 17 goals in La Liga, an average of 1.2 per game, compared to just one per game in Europe—does this warrant a recall to the side for Iker Casillas?
To briefly touch on the goalkeeping competition at Madrid would be a fair comparison of their European and domestic performances. Club captain Casillas is seen by Ancelotti as Madrid's "European goalkeeper" whereas Diego Lopez is the club's "Liga goalkeeper," as reported by the Daily Mail's Gerard Brand. Spanish captain Casillas has made an average of six saves per goal this season compared to Lopez's 2.18 saves per goal—a huge difference.
However, one thing the domestic Madrid has over the European side is how many duels, and the greater percentage of duels, they've won.
"Domestic Madrid" have won 60 percent of their duels, whereas "European Madrid" have won a slightly lower percentage of 57 percent. In Europe, Real have won a greater percentage of tackles than in La Liga: 49/66 (74 percent) to 217/307 (71 percent).
The only real difference is the headed duels. In the Spanish league, Madrid have won 10 percent more than in Europe (62 percent to 52 percent).
Judging from the stats, Real Madrid have been a much better side in Europe than in La Liga. Cristiano Ronaldo has not stopped scoring in either competition, but their increased clinical edge in the Champions League is the difference. Madrid are far more dangerous in front of goal in Europe than at home in La Liga, and while they're in search of "La Decima," they'll be an incredibly tough opponent to get past.
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