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Real Madrid set historic club record in first half of La Liga season


Real Madrid set a new club record in the first half of the 2023/24 La Liga season by conceding just 11 goals across 19 games.

Many feared for Madrid earlier this season when goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militao both suffered serious ACL injuries, and the team’s fitness problems did not stop there as David Alaba succumbed to the same problem in December.

Despite losing three of their first-choice back line, Madrid managed to concede just 11 goals across the first half of the campaign. Not only do Carlo Ancelotti’s side boast the best defensive record in La Liga but, as noted by Marca, never before have Madrid conceded so few goals midway through a 38-game season.

The previous record stood at 12 goals conceded across the first 19 games. Madrid managed that feat in both 1987/88 and 2019/20, and they would end up winning the title in both seasons.

Indeed, not since 1961/62 have Madrid conceded just 11 goals in 19 games, but the campaign was only 30 matches long at that point. Nevertheless, Madrid still won the title.

Across Europe’s top ten divisions, only Inter and Nice have conceded fewer goals at this point in the season, while Juventus have tied Madrid’s record of 11.

Carlo Ancelotti

Ancelotti has overseen a defensive masterclass this season / Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/GettyImages

To make Madrid’s accomplishment more impressive, Ancelotti’s side have shone defensively despite not having a firm first-choice goalkeeper.

Courtois’ injury led to Madrid signing Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan from Chelsea. The Spaniard has played 11 times and conceded seven goals, but he has recently lost his place to the team’s usual deputy, Andriy Lunin.

24-year-old Lunin, whose contract expires this summer, has only conceded four goals across his eight appearances this season.

There is hope that Militao will return from his injury in the coming months but Alaba will miss the remainder of the season and Courtois has already confirmed he will miss Euro 2024 this summer as a result of his injury.

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