Real Madrid: 5 burning questions from a deflating loss to Alaves

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Diego Simeone
Diego Simeone (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Are Real Madrid no longer title favorites?

That is the No. 1 question that should be on the mind of Madridistas coming out of this loss. Los Blancos did not look like the best team in the league on Saturday night – far from it. In the thick of Matchday 11, Los Merengues are fourth in La Liga and could get leapfrogged by Sevilla, who are in fifth place and are next weekend’s opponents.

Real Madrid have been unconvincing in several La Liga matches this season. They were fortunate to get a point at the Estadio de la Ceramica last week, and they did not deserve a point in the least this weekend vs. Alaves. Real were not the worse side necessarily, but they were thoroughly disappointing from start to finish.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid look incredibly dangerous. They are tied on points with Real Sociedad at the top of the table, though Los Rojiblancos have one extra game in the bag. With Joao Felix playing to his level in his second season in Madrid, Atleti have the attacking firepower to match their excellent defense. And let’s not even speak of Marcos Llorente, who is giving Madridistas reasons to rue his departure to the crosstown rivals.

Dec. 12 is a massive fixture for Real Madrid. If they lose to Atletico Madrid, the narrative of their first half of the season will be a sour one. There are heavy title implications in this match, and it’s fair to say that Atleti have been the superior team to this point.