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As Real Madrid boss, Zidane loyal to the style that made him a great player

The key stats ahead of the weekend's La Liga action, including an impressive unbeaten run for Zidane's Real Madrid.

After Real Madrid's Copa del Rey win in Leon -- 7-1 against hosts Cultural Leonesa -- a surprising fact has been highlighted by the Spanish media: Only three outfield players in the squad have not scored yet.

Most defenders, midfielders and, of course, forwards have managed to make the score sheet at least once, with the exceptions of Mateo Kovacic (not exactly a starter or a scorer), Casemiro (who has played only four matches after picking up an injury in September) and Fabio Coentrao (a full-back...

 By Shaka Hislop

Real Madrid go top in the Power Rankings; Sevilla second, Benfica third

The key stats ahead of the weekend's La Liga action, including an impressive unbeaten run for Zidane's Real Madrid.
After Real Madrid's flurry of goals and wins, they're a perfect choice to top our ranks this week.

Real Madrid's ruthless week of goals and glory makes them the new No. 1 in Shaka Hislop's Power Rankings, with Sevilla leaping up to second place.

1. Real Madrid (+3)

It's been a good week for Zinedine Zidane's side. After four consecutive draws from Sept. 21 to Oct. 2, Los Blancos have racked up four straight wins. In the past seven days, Cristiano Ronaldo & Co. notched a 2-1 home win vs. always-difficult Athletic Bilbao before putting SEVEN goals past Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey....

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Jose Mourinho charged: The Man United boss' disciplinary record

Stewart Robson feels Jose Mourinho must return to the basics and get back to what made him a successful manager.
ESPN FC's Stewart Robson explains why Jose Mourinho may have lost some confidence after the first month of the season.
Craig Burley steams up at the wretched state Jose Mourinho and Manchester United currently find themselves in.

On Thursday, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was charged with misconduct by the English Football Association (FA).

Here, ESPN FC looks back at some of Mourinho's previous disciplinary indiscretions.

Feb. 23, 2005: Mourinho claimed he saw Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard speaking to referee Anders Frisk at half-time of Chelsea's Champions League round-of-16 first-leg loss at the Camp Nou. He received a £8,900 fine and a two-match touchline ban.

Feb. 20, 2010: Mourinho made a handcuffs...

 By Rob Train

Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez sublime in runaway Real Madrid win

Marco Asensio bagged a brace in Real Madrid's Copa del Rey thrashing om Wednesday.
Marco Asensio was one of the standout performers for Real Madrid in an easy Copa del Rey win.

Real Madrid ran out comfortable 7-1 winners at the Segunda B outfit Cultural Leonesa, who put up a spirited performance. Former Barca B striker Benja will have thoroughly enjoyed denying Real a clean sheet, but goals from Alvaro Morata, Marco Asensio, Nacho and Mariano (with the unfortunate Gianni Zuiverloon also on the score sheet) evidenced the gulf between the sides.


Real did not field an ineligible player and avoided a repeat of the 2009-10 Alcorconazo, both of which were basic prematch...

Ronaldo out as Zinedine Zidane puts faith in Real Madrid subs vs. Leonesa

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno assesses how Cristiano Ronaldo can turn around his slowest ever La Liga start.
Real Madrid earned all three points against Athletic Bilbao thanks to Alvaro Morata's late game-winning goal.

With only two days to rest after a hard-fought victory against Athletic Bilbao, Real Madrid play again on Wednesday evening. Their trip to Leon, where they will meet the fascinating Cultural Leonesa, marks their comeback to the Copa del Rey after last season's ridiculous exit due to an administrative mistake when they lined up a non-eligible player, Denis Cheryshev.

Sunday's win brought plenty of topics for discussion, both positive and negative, among media and supporters. The team looked comfortable...

 By Michael Cox

Why do stars such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo take the penalties?

Lionel Messi converted a crucial penalty at the weekend but hasn't had the best spot-kick record.

On Saturday, Lionel Messi buried a 94th-minute penalty past Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves at the Mestalla. It was a hugely significant goal that meant Barcelona travelled back up the coast with three points after a 3-2 victory. In a wider context, it might have a significant impact upon Messi's goal-scoring record at the end of his career.

For all Messi's superhuman talents -- there's an argument that the Argentine is or has been the world's best dribbler, creator and goal scorer during his...