Real Madrid's sloppy side returns against Wolfsburg

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Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane will be hugely frustrated with his side's Champions League loss after proving his tactical nous in the recent El Clasico.

The Frenchman set his side up perfectly in the 2-1 win over Barcelona in what was supposed to be a morale-boosting victory. The team selection was correct and the way in which they operated was ideally suited to a fixture of such magnitude.

However, on Wednesday night, Los Blancos delivered a performance which once again highlighted their most prominent flaws. Defensively they appeared frail, with Zidane and his men seemingly unaware that Wolfsburg would look to exploit them on the counter.


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This resulted in a 2-0 loss to their German opponents, in what was arguably their most important game of the season and this has plunged the club back into a harsh reality where there is a real possibility of an unthinkable elimination.

Defensive mess

Danilo was surprisingly recalled to the side, despite Dani Carvajal's impressive form this season and the Brazilian showed once again why many of the Madrid faithful feel that he is not up to the required standard.

Throughout the match, the former FC Porto man was tortured by the excellent Julian Draxler and seemed unable to cope with the impressive intensity of Wolfsburg.

Of course, he received little support from his two centre-backs, Pepe and Sergio Ramos, with the duo putting in displays riddled with positional errors and lack of basic defensive awareness.

Casemiro also lacked the same guile and efficiency he displayed in El Clasico and Madrid in general, seemed to lack the motivation to absorb and then punish their opponents like they did against Barcelona.

BBC tried but failed

The forward line of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo probed in the early stages but the togetherness and teamwork they showed previously in dismantling their Catalan rivals faded very quickly.

It was a side of Madrid which has become all too frequent this season. One week they look as if glory is within their grasp, the next the elite selection of superstars in their roster seem unable to replicate the quality they are most certainly capable of.

Wolfsburg played the game very cleverly. They played as if they were the away side, countering Madrid at will and forcing them into errors all over the pitch.

Dieter Hecking analysed his opponent's weaknesses and punished them accordingly, leaving Los Blancos with a daunting task ahead of them. The German managers side have struggled this season in the Bundesliga but they banished away their domestic demons to pull off a hugely impressive win.

Of course, with the class Madrid possess a three-goal win in the Bernabeu is still a distinct possibility. However, another performance of this calibre, which has epitomised large portions of their 2015/16, will no doubt condemn them to a surprise elimination.

If they want to build on 'La Decima', they simply have to find the team spirit and quality they showed in El Clasico to get past a gritty and determined German opposition.

Will Real Madrid qualify against Wolfsburg? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!

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Zinedine Zidane
Gareth Bale
Karim Benzema
La Liga
UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo

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