Real Madrid: 5 burning questions after win over Real Valladolid

Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois
Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images) /

Why does Thibaut Courtois keep having to bail out Real Madrid?

It seems like Thibaut Courtois has to pull off a miraculous save every week to keep Real Madrid in matches. If it weren’t for his trio of saves against Real Valladolid, we’d be writing much different columns about Los Blancos in light of an upset loss in the home opener to one of La Liga’s least potent sides.

When Real Madrid give up chances, it seems like they completely implode, giving the opposition a free attempt at goal. It happened multiple times against Valladolid, multiple times against Real Betis, and once in the clean sheet at Real Sociedad when Alexander Isak ran at Courtois without a defender in sight. Courtois had to deal with these types of chances early in the 2019-2020 season when he wasn’t superhuman, and that’s what led to the overblown criticism.

The Belgian goalkeeper has a serious case for being the best in the world right now, though it’s hard to put anyone over Manuel Neuer. Even so, Courtois is in the discussion, and he added another marquee performance to his resume by winning the Man of the Match against Valladolid.

Real Madrid can’t keep asking him to play this well, though. Individually, the defensive players weren’t bad. Casemiro played well, Raphael Varane was great, and Sergio Ramos wasn’t terrible despite a few spotty moments. But because Los Blancos like to push up the pitch so much, they will always be vulnerable to counterattacks if they make a mistake with their passing. The culprits there are usually Casemiro and Ramos.