El Clasico exposes Real’s defensive issues


With the La Liga title already sown up in Barcelona’s favour, the Champions League has been Real Madrid’s only trophy source for the majority of the season.

Zinedine Zidane’s focused his efforts on Europe in 2018, as he chases a record breaking third successive Champions League title with the club.

The Frenchman has overseen knockout round wins over Paris Saint Germain and old foes Juventus, prior to their semi final clash with Bayern Munich.

Their two legged encounter with the Germans was symbolic of Real in Europe this season, experienced and hard to beat, with key interventions by their big names.

Marco Asensio was the key man in the 2-1 first leg, scoring an excellent goal and providing freshness and pace from the bench, just when it was needed. At the Santiago Bernabeu, Karim Benzema made the difference.

He has divided opinion during his time at Real, with doubts raised about his ability to perform and score goals at the highest level. In this game his first goal stemmed  Bayern’s momentum and his second derailed their second half plan.

That results pairs them with Liverpool in the final later in May.

A clash of the immovable object, in Real’s experience and big game nous, up against the irresistible force, in Liverpool’s freshness, pace and high octane tactics.

Zidane faces an anxious wait on the results of Cristiano Ronaldo’s ankle injury, suffered in a bad tempered El Clasico last weekend.

However, Ronaldo’s fitness is just one of the concerning takeaways from the 2-2 draw with Barcelona.

Barcelona scored twice, and played 45 minutes with ten men, and could have snatched a third goal.

Real were under strength, with right back Dani Carvajal injured, Nacho Fernandez was drafted in, and later replace by Lucas Vazquez.

Neither player looked comfortable, with the former a centre back by trade, and the latter a winger.

Carvajal’s work rate and defensive understanding with the back four is key in the way Real defend.

On the other side, Marcelo spent his game in the attacking half, safe in the knowledge that he could catch Nelson Semedo.

That is the case with the in form Mo Salah in the final, and Marcelo will need to ensure his position is on point.

In the middle, Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane did not have their best game, but the experience of Ramos should be enough to stem Liverpool, the issues lie at full back.

Do you have what it takes to challenge the best La Liga Fantasy Managers? If you’re up for the challenge then play www.liga-fantasy.com now!




To leave a comment, you must be logged into www.eurofantasyleague.com