Zidane's misstep

The Frenchman's decisions at the Etihad, using a low-form Hazard or not taking out Vinicius and yes Jovic, have generated some doubts at the club.


The one in Manchester was an unfortunate night for Madrid. If everything was euphoria when the League was lifted in mid-July, now, in August, the entity is moving in a sea of doubts for the future project. Even Zidane himself had to be asked four times to confirm, with a small mouth, that he would continue on the Madrid bench next season. The rumor has returned that the squad, with important people like Ramos, Marcelo, Kroos, Modric or Benzema over 30, needs a renewal. Varane's two failures, of course, nullified any possibility of success of Zidane's plan at the Etihad, but his decisions, in the end controversial, did not help much to the success of the coach who has gone down in Madrid's history for rescuing him twice. and win three Champions and two Leagues in four seasons.


Later it was shown that it was not a good idea to start him. His contribution was a low shot hitting the post and a combination with Benzema that ended on a clear occasion. And nothing more. Not an overflow, not a glimmer of quality. He was seen at the end of the game with an ice pack on his ankle operated for the second time. And that he had had 22 days off since the end of the League, in which he did not play due to discomfort in the area. And the alarms go off because, waiting for Mbappé to be shot, he is the franchise signing. He is 29 years old and cost 100 million euros, and has only scored one goal this season ... 444 444A matador is missing.

The Etihad revealed that Madrid is missing a matador. It matters little that Benzema has taken a step forward without Cristiano (this season, 27 goals, last, 30). It is insufficient. In the club's offices it was thought that between Hazard and Asensio they would score the 50 goals that the Portuguese averaged. Aware of the Belgian, this season, we must add three of the young Mallorcan.


His participation in the Etihad was testimonial. He went in instead of Vinicius. At 22, the Serbian is the forward that Madrid chose as a complement to Benzema. It cost 60 million euros and between breaches of confinement, strange injuries and adaptation to the Spanish environment, the campaign has gone away scoring only two goals in 27 games.

The curse of Ramos.

The night of doubts started with the sanction of Ramos. Once Cristiano left it seems clear that, without the camero in the field, Madrid is an orphan. There is a kind of curse on the team when he doesn't play in the Champions League. Sergio Ramos has already seen from the stands (by suspension) four eliminations of Madrid in the European Cup: 1-2 with Roma in 2008; 1-1 against Barça in 2011; 1-4 against Ajax in 2019 and finally 2-1 against City on Friday. All four times the team fell out of the competition.


The Brazilian is, along with Kubo, one of the footballers in whom Florentino Pérez has the most confidence. He should not have liked much that the footballer with the most overflow did not play for a minute on the fateful night of the Etihad. "Others have played, but when a team loses you can look for things," Zidane limited himself to explaining at the end of the match. He chose Rodrygo to start, risky. This justified his appearance with the goal pass to Benzema, but did little else. The coach had left weighty men like Isco or Fede Valverde on the bench.


Guardiola won the game over Zidane in the center of the field. Modric and Kroos weren't able to cover so much space in the midfield and Casemiro, overly demanding, was a blunder with the ball at his feet. For Zidane, the formula of putting Valverde on the field, as a right-handed inside, along with Casmeiro, Modric and Kroos, had worked before. He did so in the last Clásico (Madrid won 2-0, although Isco played for Modric), in the first leg against City (although Isco played again, this time for Kroos), and in the second game against PSG in the group stage (draw 2-2) .

Change of tactics.

If something has characterized Zidane's Madrid this season it is his direct football, the idea of reaching the opposite goal in a few touches and defensive security. Madrid had been the team with the least thrashing in LaLiga. He conceded 25 goals in the 38 rounds, the second Madrid with the best average of goals against in history. In 64-65 he finished with 18 goals conceded in 30 games (0.6 per game). But the idea of playing the ball so insistently from behind the French coach was very detrimental to Madrid, who ended up receiving two goals and 20 shots (for the nine he made). Not only did Varane fail in deliveries, but also Casemiro, Militao, Carvajal, Courtois ...

Panic behind.

The persistence in playing the ball from behind against City was evident in the fact that Madrid did not play in the opposite field until 1:50 of the game, until that moment it was always their possession, or that between Courtois (48), Carvajal (44), Varane (72), Militao (51) and Mendy (31) gave 246 passes. Casemiro stayed at 38, Hazard only at 25, Benzema at 27 ... 444 444Soft leg.

There may have been some relaxation. Madrid was making three fouls, the game in which the least in this Champions League and equaling the two records of fewer fouls in the last 15 years: against Schalke in 13-2014 (a placid 1-6) and an inconsequential Madrid-Dortmund from 2017.

Photos from as.com
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