Dry January causes little cheer for Real Madrid's strike force

REAL MADRID

Dry January causes little cheer for Real Madrid's strike force

Dry January causes little cheer for Real Madrid's strike force

Denis Doyle

Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane's side have scored 15 goals in 2017 and only four have come from the club's strikers. Ronaldo and Benzema have two, Morata none.

It is no coincidence that Real Madrid have lost two matches in recent days and ended their 2-1 victory over Málaga asking the referee to blow for full time. The side’s forwards, who account for half of the total 88 goals scored this season, have ceased to be decisive. With Gareth Bale out injured, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Álvaro Morata and Mariano have gone on a barren run in January that the rest of the team have had to compensate for.

Ronaldo off-target in 2017

Ronaldo has only scored twice so far in 2017, one from the spot during the 2-1 defeat by Sevilla and another in the 5-0 hammering of Granada. The Portuguese did not have his day against Celta and Málaga, when he rattled the woodwork but spurned several decent chances and was subject to some whistles from the Bernabéu crowd.

Benzema in the firing line

Benzema, who scored the last-gasp goal in the Sánchez Pizjuán that at stage maintained the side’s record-breaking 40-match unbeaten run in the 3-3 Copa del Rey game, is also in the firing line from fans and he was treated to boos from some sections of the crowd when he was substituted against Málaga. The Frenchman’s passiveness in the run-up to Stevan Jovetic’s goal in the league defeat and a howling miss at the end of the 2-1 Copa defeat by Celta have exacerbated his drop in form.

Morata last goal in December

Morata has not scored since finding the net in Riazor on December 10 and has now gone six games without getting on the scoresheet while Mariano has been sparsely used other than in the Copa. Still, the Dominican has chipped in with five goals in 222 minutes this season but could not add to his Copa tally against Sevilla.

Sergio Ramos has stepped into the breach with three goals since the turn of the year, making him Real’s highest scorer so far in 2017. Furthermore, his strikes have been decisive in earning the side seven points. James Rodríguez and Isco have both scored twice in 2017 while Raphael Varane, Marco Asensio, Marcelo and Casemiro have all chipped in.

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