Not the start Rafael Benitez would have wanted in his first match in-charge of Real Madrid. Los Blancos were involved in a goalless draw in the away fixture at Sporting de Gijon, while the rivals Atletico Madrid and Barca picked up their first three points of the season.
Real Madrid recorded a total of 27 shots on Gijon’s goal in their first fixture of 2015/16 La Liga season. Eight shots got on target compared to Gijon’s zero. Although both the teams won a point each after the referee’s final whistle.
“We draw 0-0 and people talk about us being a defensive team,” Benitez said. “Who had the most shots last weekend? Real Madrid. If shooting more times than the opponent is defensive, then I am lost. A draw is not defensive. It is a game where we lacked accuracy.”
The former Liverpool and Napoli manager also stated that he and his team are completely focused on their opening game at the Santiago Bernabeu. Betis coach Pepe Mel, a close friend of Rafa, knows Real Madrid very well and according to Real boss the game will be difficult.
“Mel knows this place and he knows Spanish football,” he said. “He knows how important it is to go play well if you go to the Bernabeu.
“They are returning to the Primera with a great fanbase, to give a good impression of themselves, and it will not be easy. They will run a lot and look to take their chance.”
A draw in the first match might not raise many eyebrows at the Santiago Bernabeu but if the results don’t get any better, Perez and Real Madrid fans aren’t also famous for being patient.
Barcelona defeated Athletic Bilbao on Sunday as Luis Suarez grabbed his first goal of the season. The Uruguayan’s 54th minute strike was the only goal of the game. Barca are definitely missing the creativity of Neymar but according to Luis Enrique, Neymar is already on the road back to the team.
“[Neymar] looks very good to me,” Luis Enrique said. “He is almost recovered, but the normal situation of someone who has not played for two weeks. Nobody is at 100 percent at this stage. He has a special physical shape. Being light he gets fit quickly, and that opens up the possibility of playing tomorrow.”
Busquets can also make a return to the first team but the whole situation will only be clear tomorrow.
“First off [Busquets] has been able to train since Thursday, and he looks very good to me,” he said. “But tomorrow we will decide how he is.”
The former La Liga champions, Atletico Madrid, won 1 – 0 against Las Palmas at Vicente Calderon. Manchester United target Antoine Greizmann got on the score sheet for Diego Simeone’s side. On Sunday, they play Sevilla in their first away game of the 2015 – 16 season. Last weekend, Sevilla got held to a goalless draw at Malaga.