Real Madrid: The 3 best games of the 2020-21 season so far

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, Lucas Vazquez (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, Lucas Vazquez (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Although Real Madrid missed out on a chance to defeat two top La Liga sides in Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid last week, they’ve had a handful of excellent big-game performances in the 2020-2021 season. Their biggest issue has often actually been getting the expected points out of lesser competition, referring to their Copa del Rey loss to Alcoyano and a pair of losses to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.

As Los Blancos prepare for Elche this weekend and Atalanta next week in the Champions League, let’s send some positive vibes into the universe by reviewing the team’s three best games of the 2020-2021 campaign to this point.

Real Madrid at Barcelona, Oct. 24

Real Madrid came into the first Clasico of the season in pretty bad shape. They had just lost to newly-promoted Cadiz – before we knew that they’re actually a decent team – and then lost to Shakhtar for the first time.

But Los Blancos exceeded expectations at the Camp Nou, overcoming Barcelona 3-1 for a second straight big win over their bitter rivals. Lucas Vazquez proved to be the hero as an emergency right back, and the regular stars like Luka Modric shone brightly. It was an important, confidence-boosting victory for the Merengue club, and it will have Madridistas liking their chances of a win at home in April, which is a must-win after the draw with Atleti.

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Real Madrid vs. Borussia Monchengladbach, Dec. 9

After Real’s first loss to Shakhtar Donetsk, they beat Barcelona at the Camp Nou. And after their second loss to the Ukrainian club, they went on the run of their lives. Los Blancos weren’t fully convincing in their 1-0 win over Sevilla, but they got the job done.

And they knew they would have to be even better in their final Champions League group stage game against Borussia Monchengladbach, lest they tumble out of European football (or, at least, the Champions League) completely before the knockout stage even began.

Feeling all the pressure in the world, Real Madrid rallied around their under-fire manager, delivering a performance for the ages at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. Karim Benzema struck twice in the 2-0 win, and Lucas Vazquez, once again, played like a man possessed on the right-hand side.

This was arguably the most vital win of the entire campaign for Real. If they did not perform here after drawing with Gladbach 2-2 earlier in the Champions League, then they would have been humiliated as an organization. But with their backs to the wall, Real didn’t just get the job done – they flat-out bossed Gladbach off the pitch.

Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid, Dec. 12

One game later, Real Madrid somehow had an even more impressive performance in another dominant 2-0 victory, but this time they beat their crosstown rivals Atletico Madrid. Although they couldn’t replicate the feat with an injury-depleted squad at the Wanda, this 2-0 derby win could be looked upon even more fondly if Los Blancos pull off a second straight league title.

Once again, Lucas Vazquez was at the heart of everything good for Real Madrid, as he and the defense took Luis Suarez and Joao Felix completely out of the game. Diego Simeone literally had to sub both of them, much to their frustrations.

Next. Real Madrid have to start Vinicius Junior over Marco Asensio. dark

Meanwhile, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos bossed the midfield again, and Casemiro put in a real shift as the defensive midfielder. It was a vintage Real Madrid performance under Zinedine Zidane, and supporters should be proud of the way the team battled in this derby victory.