Borussia Dortmund Vs Real Madrid had turned out to be one of the most memorable encounters in the Champions League this season. Both teams showed 100% attacking spirit on the pitch and never had their feet backwards. Dortmund were the bravest of the two and Real Madrid showed why they are the Champions of Europe. Zidane’s men made comparatively fewer chances and very fewer shots on target, but they were far more clinical than the Germans. The Borussia side played like an example and kept Real Madrid on the edge of the sword for the entire 90 minutes. Real Madrid had to defend 100% all the time to keep Dortmund at bay.
A game played with pure football spirit and it yielded a fair result. Dortmund deserved at least a point for their very impressive show and a defeat to Real Madrid would have meant the European Champions’ defensive efforts were unjustified. Though the Dortmund attackers made troubles, the Real Madrid defenders were also equal to the efforts. Raphael Varane deserved a Man of the Match award and Danilo played like a completely different player. The Brazilian did not live up to the expected levels ever since he joined Real Madrid, but last night, he showed why he deserves to wear the famous White jersey.
How effective and impressive were Dortmund is never a matter when we think from Real Madrid’s side. The Los Galacticos may afford to lose points, but this is the third draw in a row for Zidane which is a sin at the Santiago Bernabeu. If Zidane fails to conquer this droppings, he may have an axe coming on his way. Florentino Perez never thinks twice while sacking a manager. Carlo Ancelotti is the latest victim and is one of Perez’ worst decisions ever as the President of Real Madrid.
Borussia Dortmund Vs Real Madrid: What mistakes had Zidane’s men made?
There are some areas that Zidane can not fix in his squad and his tactics were notably flawed against the Big Germans. Here, I just noted some of those lacks that caused Real Madrid two points.
1. Over reliant on ‘The BBC’
I don’t know how much time it will take for the managers of Real Madrid and it’s fans to realise that the most decorated ‘BBC’ is nothing but a dead rubber these days. Ronaldo and Bale are never the same they were after the La Decima and Karim Benzema is not eligible to lead Real Madrid, not anymore. Real Madrid plays comparatively better when youngsters Lucas Vazquez or Marco Asensio replace anyone of Ronaldo or Bale. The youngsters’ eagerness to show their talents on the pitch helps Real Madrid to play more like a unit. When Bale-Ronaldo plays together, they really are not playing together. Mentally, both are more concerned about their personal ambitions than the team’s wealth.
Ronaldo who is always known as a self-centered player did not help Bale when the Welsh man was targetted by the Santiago Bernabeu crowd a year ago. On the other hand, Bale wants to be the talisman of Real Madrid and wants to remove Cristiano Ronaldo from the crown. Whether Bale is ready or not is a different matter, but this personal battle haunts Real Madrid more than we see on the pitch.
With Alvaro Morata on the bench, there are no good reasons to start Benzema in every game. The French man fumbles at least two good chances every game and it can not help Real Madrid in the future. The Blancos need a new No.9 and they have the perfect replacement in Morata.
2. No casemiro ! No Party !
Casemiro !! Still, a lot of people can not believe how vital this young Brazilian has become to the mighty Los Blancos. Usually, it’s very tough for every player to crack the Real Madrid first team, let alone be its backbone. But, Casemiro is doing the job pretty easily ever since he was given his first starting berth under Zidane. The Young Brazilian is one of the most important players for Zidane and the statistics just proves this point. Without Casemiro, Zidane’s point generation drops significantly and whenever he has Casemiro, Real Madrid just holds on to every opponent.
Casemiro’s absence left Real Madrid’s backline well exposed and none of the midfielders can do the Brazilian’s job effectively.
3. Bad Substitutions
Zidane has a long way to be one of the world’s best managers and he has a number of areas to improve. An area where he has to study more immediately is the ‘substitution’ part. I still can not find a reason to why Benzema and Bale were not dropped earlier? Benzema was sloppy and slipped a good chance while Bale was largely kept quiet by Dortmund’s left-back. Bale had it a bit difficult to dribble past Schmelzer where a player like Lucas Vazquez or Asensio might have had a better impact. Because in the last minutes, the players looked tired than usual and a fresh blood on the wings would have changed the things for Zidane.
Morata who scored the winner for Real Madrid in the last minute against Sporting Lisbon was not given the playing time to make any impact. Hailed as ‘Mr.Champions League’ for his impressive record recently against various opponents, Morata deserved more playing time.
4. Poor Midfield Partnership
YES ! Real Madrid midfield is not an ideal one, recently. With Modric playing in a dilemma and Kroos busy in making passes all over the ground, Real Madrid lacked a true ‘Guardian’ in the centre of the pitch. Kovacic was introduced to cover the defence but the Croatian can not make a big impact. The Croatian youngster was easily evaded by the Dortmund attackers. Kovacic is not a typical central defensive midfielder, so we can not blame him for his defensive inabilities. He is basically a central midfielder. With three natural CM’s and no CDM, Real Madrid was not able to control the midfield. With Ramos, Varane and Danilo all have experience in playing as a CDM, Why Zidane did not pick anyone of them to guard the backline in the crucial moments? Particularly, when they had a lead to protect!
If Zidane had brought on a defender as James’ substitute, Real Madrid could have defended more deeply. Luka Modric and Kroos do not need more than a single slip from opponents to start a breathtaking attack. If Real Madrid were more solid on the back, they would obviously have had the better chances in the last minutes of the game. You do not need 10 chances to score a goal when you have Ronaldo and Bale up front.
5. Lack of Experience
‘Experience’ is the best teacher ! The man who said these Golden Words deserves every credit in this world. Zidane’s lack of experience in handling pressure situations has caused Real Madrid some problems. The most important one is the ‘substitution’. Also, Zidane can not adjust his team properly without Casemiro. In a way, it shows the Brazilian’s class, but it also expresses Zidane’s lack of ideas to handle the situation. There is another meaningful quote: “Dream for the Best but prepare for the Worst” !! Zidane should take a note of this. He has a dream squad, but things can go wrong at any point and Zidane should prepare for the worst.