Real concern over lack of goals

Although they are still unbeaten under new coach Jose Mourinho with

four wins from six competitive games, Madrid are yet to really

impress and are surprisingly finding goals hard to come. Madrid

netted over 100 times in La Liga alone last season but they have

struck just eight times in the league and Champions League this

season. Creating chances and shooting opportunities has not been a

problem for the Spanish giants, but finding the back of the net has

and Mourinho, who has started with the attacking quartet of

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil

in the last four games, admits it is a concern. Speaking after

seeing his side held to a goalless draw by promoted Levante on

Saturday, the former Inter Milan boss said: “We created so many

chances, some very good, and obviously I’m worried because you need

to score to win. “There is no problem tactically, but we aren’t

scoring. It’s not due to the quality of the players because we all

know they are players with lots of goals in them, but at this

moment we can’t score. That’s my only concern.” Full-back Marcelo

is confident Madrid will soon be making the most of their

opportunities, though. The Brazilian told AS: “Our only problem is

the ball isn’t going in, but there’s no need for us to worry

because it is just a question of time until the goals come. There

needs to be patience. “Maybe it’s not going in for us because we

lack a little freshness and calmness. We are training and playing

every day and we have almost no time to rest. “This could be the

main reason because up front we have players of undoubted quality

and experienced goalscorers.” Madrid will be hoping for better

against an out-of-sorts Auxerre as Mourinho’s men look to build on

their opening Group G win over Ajax – a match in which the Spanish

side had countless efforts on goal but could only net twice in a

2-0 victory. Auxerre are still searching for their first win after

seven Ligue 1 matches, with five draws and two defeats – their

worst start since the 1986/87 season – leaving them in 17th place

in the standings. At the weekend they were held 2-2 at home by

Nancy despite leading 2-0 after 11 minutes thanks to a brace from

Dennis Oliech. “We have to quickly win a game so that we regain

confidence,” coach Jean Fernandez told rmc.fr after the weekend

draw. “I am a little worried about what we saw tonight and at the

start of the season. If we play defensively against Real as we

played tonight, it will be difficult for AJA.” Fernandez’s side

have shipped 10 league goals so far and are yet to keep a clean

sheet, and that could be a good sign for goal-shy Madrid, who were

knocked out of the competition by French opposition last season as

Lyon consigned them to a sixth successive exit at the last-16

stage. In their first Champions League match, Auxerre lost 2-0 to

AC Milan at the San Siro following a second-half brace from Zlatan

Ibrahimovic.