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Primera División

Real perspective: Messi has the same amount of Liga goals as Madrid combined

10:11 BST 21/09/2017
Lionel Messi, Paulinho, Barcelona
The Argentine currently sits level with Los Blancos' squad, highlighting the issues facing Zinedine Zidane

With Real Madrid having failed to score - for the first time in 74 Liga games - in their shock loss to Real Betis, Barcelona striker Lionel Messi now sits level with the entire capital club combined with nine goals scored in the Spanish top flight.

Hotly tipped to walk the league after their impressive exploits last season, as well as yet another poor transfer window for Barcelona, Madrid have gotten off to an extremely poor start domestically to raise questions over Zinedine Zidane's attacking options.

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Barca, however, even without the now sidelined Ousmane Dembele, their big summer transfer, continued their unbeaten start to their own campaign with a 6-1 hammering of Eibar on Tuesday, with the Blaugrana's famous Argentine scoring an impressive four goals against the Basque side.

The fortunes of eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo's side sit in stark contrast, with Madrid recording 3-0, 2-2, 1-1, 3-1 and 0-1 results, respectively, the worst of them coming in Wednesday's night's loss in which Ronaldo himself returned from a five-match ban.

The Portuguese's return to action was an underwhelming one as the result suggests, with the Ballon d'Or holder having 12 shots on goal but registering only two on target, providing yet another worry for Madrid when compared to Messi's four-goal performance against Eibar.

During the period in which Ronaldo missed five clashes due to pushing the referee in the Spanish Supercopa, Messi has been on the winning side in each of his own league clashes, picking up a double against Alaves and a hat-trick against Espanyol before his quadruple on Tuesday. 

With his Clasico rivals defying the odds by sitting at the top of La Liga with 17 strikes in the goals scored column after a quick start to the season, Zidane faces the tricky task of swiftly turning around Madrid's fortunes or risks giving away the title before the campaign gets properly under way.