CL: 'We lacked everything,' says Real Madrid boss Zidane
Real Madrid boss Zidane rues team's poor confidence in shock 2-3 loss against Shakhtar Donetsk; insists he can find solution ahead of El Clasico on Saturday
Zinedine Zidane called for cool heads after Real Madrid lost 2-3 in their Champions League opener at home to a depleted Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, their second consecutive defeat ahead of the Clasico against Barcelona on Saturday. Ukrainian champions Shakhtar were without 10 first-team players and nine members of staff due to COVID-19 infections but recorded a remarkable win at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium, after scoring three times in 13 first-half minutes. "We lacked a bit of everything, but above all our confidence, which is the most important thing," said Zidane.
"What is important for us now is to stay calm. It's a bad night and we have to make things better," Zidane added. Strikes from Tete and Manor Solomon, either side of a Raphael Varane own-goal, gave Shakhtar a shock lead at the interval and while Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior pulled goals back, Madrid fell short. Fede Valverde thought he had grabbed an equaliser in injury time but his deflected shot was ruled out after VAR showed Vinicius was offside.
A huge upset puts Madrid on the back foot in Group B, especially as Shakhtar were in theory their weakest opponent, the others being Inter and Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Blame me: Zidane
But it also cranks up the pressure, on the Real team ahead of the Clasico on Saturday, and on Zidane, who had just overseen a dreadful display in last weekend's loss to Cadiz. "I am responsible," said Zidane. "The first half was negative for my team so it's something I haven't done well. I'm the coach. I have to find the solution,"
Zidane paid the price for rotating his line-up, presumably with the upcoming clash at the Camp Nou in mind.
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