Real Madrid allowed Barcelona to blow the LaLiga title race wide open on Sunday night, yet Zinedine Zidane insisted after the match that he would not have changed anything.
At least, that was his feeling in the immediate aftermath of the Clasico defeat, but he might come to regret several of the decisions made in the game, including the following four.
Bale wasn’t ready to start
Zidane only squeezed 35 minutes out of the recently returned Gareth Bale, who he decided to play instead of the in-form Isco or Marco Asensio even though the Welshman had only just come back from injury and could have, therefore, started from the bench.
The refusal to break up the BBC
Even before Bale had to limp off the pitch, Real Madrid’s BBC front three were unconvincing and Los Blancos looked less like a team and more like a group of individuals with them on the field.
That Asensio and Isco were on the bench
The main issue with all three members of the BBC front three starting wasn’t so much their presence as the fact that it signified the relegation to the bench of Marco Asensio, who made the team more balanced when he came on to fit into a more logical 4-4-2 system.
Also peculiar was that Isco didn’t come out from the dugout and that Lucas Vazquez was left out of the squad entirely, with Zidane persisting with Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo even though the club’s hierarchy have not put pressure on him to play them – and some directors even believe they shouldn’t all be starting.
He couldn’t read the game
Not only did the Frenchman err with his starting lineup, but he made mistakes once the ball got rolling, such as trying to win the game at the end and having six players in the opposition half when Barcelona’s game-winning move commenced.