#StatisticalAnalysis: Decoding the role of Real Madrid's defensive unit
With four games to go in La Liga 2019-20 season, Real Madrid are on the verge of snatching the Spanish league title away from Barcelona. Real won their 33rd La Liga honor in the 2016-17 season under manager Zinedine Zidane. And now, they are aiming to seal the title and pip defenders Barcelona. Here we analyze how Real's defensive unit stood out this season.
Real lead the proceedings at the top of the table after collecting 77 points from 34 games. They have a four-point gap over second-placed Barcelona (73 points). Notably, Real have won 23 matches and lost just thrice this season. It's their defensive unit which has stood tall by conceding the fewest goals this season in La Liga (21).
Over the last two seasons, Los Blancos finished third in La Liga. Barca and Atletico Madrid finished above them. To make a comeback, Real needed to get things sorted at the back and Zidane deserves credit for emphasizing on the same. Real had conceded 34, 41, 44, 46 goals from 2015-16 to 2018-19 respectively. This season has seen a stark improvement.
When you look at the top five European football leagues this term, Real have conceded the fewest goals. In the Serie A, Juventus have shipped in 26 goals. Liverpool have conceded just 25 in the Premier League. Bayern Munich, who won the Bundesliga 2019-20 title, allowed 32 goals. Paris Saint-Germain, who were crowned Ligue 1 champions in an incomplete season, conceded 24.
Real Madrid have kept a staggering 18 clean sheets this season (highest). Goal-keeper Thiabut Courtois leads the race with 17 clean sheets under his belt in 31 matches. He has conceded 18 in this period. Since La Liga's resumption last month, Real have won all seven games and conceded just two goals. Notably, they have kept five clean sheets, including four in a row.
Club captain Sergio Ramos is having a dream season. The central defender has scored 12 goals in the campaign in all competitions. It's his best tally in a single season, overcoming the 11 goals he scored last term. He is only the second Real Madrid player to score 10 or more league goals in La Liga 2019-20 season.