Breaking Down Real Madrid’s Disappointing Run at Champions League 2020/21

Real Madrid has hit a rough patch at the Champions League so far this year and their latest defeat is no different. While Inter Milan has given Madrid a little room to breathe, losing has become all too common for the celebrated side. The latest losing streak is the second in over a month and the fans are visibly frustrated.

The situation is getting worse by the day as the players seem to be repeating amateur mistakes. And the chaos was quite visible in their previous match against Shakhtar Donetsk, in which Madrid conceded two goals in quick succession. The team’s collective performance is to be blamed as a comedy of errors that finally lead to their defeat.

Where Things Went Wrong

Breaking down the scenario, Zidane feels comfortable with Luca Modric and Lucas Vasquez/Marcelo to defend against counter-attacks in dead-ball situations. However, the weakest link is currently the corners and Shaktar was easily able to charge from the sides. During the first attempt, Luca Modric made the fatal decision of stepping out and try to tackle the ball away from Marlos.

However, that plan quickly backfired as he was facing a 4 vs 3 situation. The traditional way would be to fall back and wait for a better opportunity. But Shakhtar made the most of Modric’s failed attempt with a successful counter-attack. While Modric’s failed attempt occurred in a single phase, Shaktar’s perfect comeback arrived in phases.

The second phase arrived when Shakhtar successfully fed the wide ball to Taison. Varane was fortunate enough to recover the ball and cement Madrid’s position. However, the back three soon fell apart while facing the opposition’s precision moves. Facing the situation, Lucas should have moved in. Instead, he found himself in no man’s land.

Confused in the middle of the field he was slow to react, giving Taison the ideal opportunity to exploit the holes in Madrid’s defense. The final phase arrived with goal-scorer Detinho flying past Madrid’s confused defensive lineup. Zidane should be ruthless while analyzing the replay.

A Comedy of Errors

The second goal was even more disappointing as no less than five players watched Shaktar break free on the counter before placing the final one in the nets. While Mendy lost track of a runner, Lucas gave Solomon all the time in the world to precisely plan his shot, as Nacho remained in no man’s land with Courtois watching helplessly from the side.

Real Madrid’s defense has been easy to pick this season and the players are to be blamed for leaving acres of space for exploiting. The last match was no less than a comedy of errors for Madrid and they need to redeem themselves fast! While the boys are partly at fault here, Zidane must step up his tactical strategies in the face of adversity.

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