More magic needed to plug CR7 gap

More magic needed to plug CR7 gap

Three points, two goals and one clean sheet. Although unspectacular, few could complain with Madrid's opening match of the 2018/19 LaLiga campaign.

A 2-0 home win over neighbours Getafe, thanks to goals from Dani Carvajal and Gareth Bale, got Julen Lopetegui's Liga start as Blancos boss off to a winning start, and almost just as important saw Bale and co. bounce back from their midweek UEFA Super Cup loss at the hands of Atlético.

The victory was convincing, if not inspirational. The scoreline could have been more, and although most will have a home clash against Getafe down as three all-but certain points, the Madrid club were far from pushovers last season, finishing eighth in the table and going into the match somewhat fresher than the hosts following their midweek trip to Tallinn.

It is understandable, too, that Madrid need time to adjust to a line-up without Cristiano Ronaldo, with a new coach, and with players such as Luka Modric and Raphael Varane on the bench. Some blending time is needed.

However, things needs to improve should Los Blancos count themselves as genuine title contenders this term. There was something missing. Something that won't worry fans just yet, but Madrid need to discover their spark if they're to trouble Barcelona and Atleti at the right end of LaLiga this term.

That spark may be a certain Portuguese talisman. Many have called on Bale to plug the gap left by the new Juventus man and indeed the Welshman found the back of the net and played well in parts, continuing his good form from the summer, but he does not look like the talisman needed to drive the team, to lift the team. Not yet.

Lopetegui could be seen as somewhat fortunate that his side start the campaign with some favourable fixtures. Getafe at home is followed by a trip to Girona and another Madrid derby at home against Leganes. A betting man would have those three matches down as three victories for Los Blancos. The true tests should come later.

It was job done on Sunday in the season opener, but that magic still needs to return.

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