Karim Benzema and Diego Costa have forgotten how to score and the Madrid derby was a drab affair because of it
The Spanish capital has produced and nurtured some of the finest goalscorers football has ever seen.
Real Madrid’s long list of Galacticos is finely countered by the likes of Sergio Aguero, Radamel Falcao, Fernando Torres and Antoine Griezmann across the famous city.
So where has it all gone wrong in more recent times?
Cristiano Ronaldo departed Real for pastures new this summer, leaving Karim Benzema – a man perennially underrated in most eyes – the most senior remaining forward.
The Frenchman has been a magnificent servant at the Bernabeu but the goals have dried up of late, scoring just four in his last 27 league games before Saturday night’s Madrid derby.
He is more of a focal point to Real, previously a buffer to Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, but his relative profligacy in front of goal might explain why they’ve managed just two in their last four league games.
Yet across the city another stellar striker’s drought is making Benzema look prolific.
15 games and 1217 minutes without a league goal before the derby, Diego Costa is seemingly a shadow of his former self.
With Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata flattering to deceive, Chelsea fans may be yearning for the Costa of old who used to terrorise Premier League defences.
But the goals have deserted him too, enduring his worst ever run of form just when Atletico looked set for a proper title tilt this season.
So it wasn’t really much of a surprise then when Real and Atletico, with Costa and Benzema leading the respective lines, played out a drab stalemate in the first derby of the season.
Costa was denied by former Chelsea team-mate while Benzema failed to get into any serious goalscoring positions.
It means collectively the two have managed just four goals in their last 44 La Liga games, with Benzema contributing all of those.
With both now either already there or approaching the wrong side of 30, can they still be expected to shoulder the main goalscoring burden for two of the most prestigious sides in Europe?
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