REAL MADRID

Ancelotti focused on improving Real Madrid attack

Ancelotti is looking to improve Madrid in front of goal and will be depending on Vinicius to continue his goalscoring form at the club.

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Carlo Ancelotti's plan at Real Madrid involves polishing up the defensive errors from the first three games of the season. The Italian is also working on bringing back the goalscoring form from his previous Real Madrid team, even without Cristiano Ronaldo and Madrid's summer target, Kylian Mbappé.

Ancelotti and his staff looked at one statistic at the start of pre-season with considerable concern. Last season's Madrid scored just 88 goals in 52 games. In La Liga, they only managed to score 67 goals - the worst figure since the 2006/07 season when Fabio Capello's side won the title by scoring just 66 goals.

Goals at both ends

Ancelotti prefers to aim higher and so far it's working for him. In Madrid's opening three league games, all away from home, Los Blancos have picked up seven points from a possible nine, and scoring eight along the way. An average of 2.6 goals per game is almost one more than Zinedine Zidane's side averaged in 2020/21, which stood at just 1.7.

This can be seen as a good sign considering that the Champions League kicks off after the international break, on October 15. Ancelotti does not have an easy task to maintain his current average until the end of the campaign, but if he manages to do so he could equal that of his first year, the year the club won their tenth Champions League, when his Madrid side scored 160 goals in 60 games, an average of 2.6 per game, and would be just short of the record of his second season (2014/15) in which he raised it to 2.7 goals per game. With those stats, it is understandable that the former Bayern Munich manager wants more. He said at his official presentation. "We need more goals and everyone has to contribute, not just Karim," Ancelotti said. Vinicius and Gareth Bale have taken note and are showing the way to the rest.

Vinicius, the Italian's philosopher's stone

Vinicius generated doubts across his three previous seasons at Madrid. His dribbling was promising, but he left little in the way of goals. Ancelotti is trying to correct that by altering the Brazilian's position on the pitch. "I don't know if he'll end up being a great goalscorer, but he can score a lot from one-on-ones," said Ancelotti after the Brazilian's brilliant brace against Levante at the Ciutat de València.

Vinicius has become the player opponents didn't expect, at least in terms of goals. Under Ancelotti, almost everything he touches has turned into gold. The six-goal thriller against Levante helped him to become top scorer this season. "He has already scored the same goals in La Liga as he did last season," said Ancelotti.