AS explain why Marcelo was substituted after 60 minutes during Girona 1-4 Real Madrid

Nobody envies the job Julen Lopetegui has on his hands at Real Madrid.

How do you follow in the footsteps of a manager that won three consecutive Champions Leagues?

And how do you do that for a side that sold Cristiano Ronaldo without replacing him?

While, Lopetegui’s side may have lost the European Super Cup to Atletico Madrid, Los Blancos have won both of their matches in La Liga this season.

They followed up their 2-0 win against Getafe on the opening weekend with a 4-1 victory at Girona on Sunday night, despite going 1-0 down.

But although they won, it seems Lopetegui may have upset one of his senior players.

Shortly after Madrid went 3-1 ahead thanks to Gareth Bale’s strike, the Madrid boss replaced Marcelo for Raphael Varane.

The Brazilian didn’t look too impressed and, after the match, said: “I was surprised by the change but I respect the decision of the coach.

“I wanted to continue because I feel good, 100%. I do not understand but I respect it, it’s the coaches decision. I always want to play.”

But Spanish outlet AS had shed some light on Marcelo’s substitution – and explained exactly why the left-back was hauled off after an hour.

They point out that Marcelo struggled defensively, losing an aerial battle in the build-up to Girona’s opener. He then showed no urgency to get back goal-side as the home side took the lead.

AS then mention a second incident that led to Marcelo’s substitution.

They recall Marcelo losing out in another challenge with Giron’s Portu, which almost ended up with Madrid conceding a second.

On the back of those two incidents, Lopetegui decided had enough and decided to bring on Varane to make Madrid more solid defensively.

And it seemed to do the trick.

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