Lopetegui out? Seventh-placed Real Madrid suffer worst start in 17 years

Los Blancos' run took a turn for the worst on the weekend, when Levante completed a shock 2-1 win over the Champions League winners

Real Madrid are enduring their worst start to a league season since 2001.

Julen Lopetegui's men lost again at the weekend, falling 2-1 at home to Levante, their fifth game in a row without winning.

Real have also lost to Alaves, CSKA Moscow and Sevilla, while they drew 0-0 with city rivals Atletico.

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Los Blancos are now seventh in La Liga, though they remain just four points behind leaders Barcelona, such is the tightness of the table in Spain.

This remains their worst start since 2001, however, when they won just two of their first nine games, drawing four and losing three to leave them with a tally of 10 points.

With four wins in their opening nine league matches in 2018-19, Lopetegui's side have 14 points on the board, but that's not stopped the pressure cranking up on their struggling head coach.

In 2001-02, Madrid, then coached by Vicente del Bosque, were 15th after nine games, and ultimately finished third, behind Valencia and Deportivo La Coruna.

A year prior they were in a similar position at this stage of the season, but they rallied to win the league ahead of Depor.

Their current predicament has led to intense speculation over Lopetegui's future, but Goal understands that he, as things stand, will manage the club during their Clasico clash against Barcelona .

Adverse results in the coming week against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League and/or at Camp Nou would likely seal Lopetegui's fate, however.

In the meantime, and no matter what the next two games bring, the search has begun in earnest for Lopetegui's potential successor. 

The likes of Antonio Conte, Arsene Wenger and even Jose Mourinho have been linked with the hotseat , but it is perhaps more likely that Argentine Santiago Solari, who is currently in charge of Madrid Castilla, will be trusted to step up after the immense success of Zinedine Zidane.

Indeed, one job facing whoever is in charge will be to replace the goals of Cristiano Ronaldo, with many pinpointing his departure as the moment Lopetegui's troubles began.

Madrid did, however, avoid the somewhat embarrassing stat of the worst goalless run in the club's entire history, with Marcelo's goal against Levante ending a drought of 480 minutes without scoring .

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