Lack of intensity hurt Real Madrid: Zidane
Warsaw, Nov 3 (IANS) Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has blamed lack of intensity for their 3-3 draw against Legia Warszawa in their Champions League group stage clash here.
Real Madrid had opened up a 2-0 lead before Legia Warszawa rallied to level the scores at 2-2 here on Wednesday evening. Although Real Madrid regained the lead, the hosts produced another comeback to earn a well deserved 3-3 draw.
Zidane lamented that Real Madrid suffered a lapse in focus after taking a 2-0 lead and conceded back to back goals which turned the the momentum of the match against them.
“It was a tough game because whenever you score two goals away from home, ordinarily it would be a game that you’re in control of. Their first goal gave them a route back into the game. We lacked intensity, desire and movement. At times you can have these odd games and we’ve got to be patient,” Zidane was quoted as saying by Real Madrid’s official website.
“We got off to a very good start, but if you don’t show enough intensity to keep up your performance levels then things become difficult. After the second goal, our intensity levels dropped, they scored and that changed the game,” he added.
“The good thing is that we didn’t lose and we’re now focusing on our next game.”
Zidane opted to employ just three defenders in the second half in an attempt to play a more aggressive game. But his plan did not work as Legia scored their third goal late in the game to earn a point.
“The plan was to play with three at the back in the closing stages but with the support of the central midfielders. We wanted to win the game and whenever you play with three at the back you’re running a risk. They scored and we then got the equaliser. I wasn’t satisfied with the 2-2 and I tried to solve things. It was a very odd game,” Zidane said.
“We took a risk by playing with three at the back, but I don’t think that we look like fragile. I’m happy with the defenders because it wasn’t just down to the defenders.
“I was looking to win the game. We played 4-4-2. We did it in pre-season and it’s a system we’re familiar with. It worked well for us in the early stages of the first half but then things got a bit more difficult,” the former France star added.
Zidane also asserted that the Real Madrid players must learn from Wednesday’s setback and make amends in the subsequent matches.
“We know we have to improve and we must show that. We have to keep working to try and make sure it doesn’t happen again. These things happen in football and your opponents can make it difficult for you if you fail to show the required intensity. We relaxed at 0-2 and it’s a strange feeling,” he said.