Los Blancos’ matchup against Deportivo La Coruna was an anticipated one, solely because it was the midfield maestro’s debut match as a manager. Taking over from Rafa Benitez, Zinedine Zidane did live up to the hype and expectations of the fellow madridistas and started his managerial career with a 5-0 victory over a gallant Deportivo La Coruna. There was speculations about the new gaffer’s choice of starting eleven, but it was without much surprises. Except for Isco starting ahead of James may be, but given the liking Zidane has for the Spanish International’s immense talent, the choice was on the cards.
The starting eleven was quite a mandatory and a regular one, with the solid hands of Keylor Navas protecting the net and likes of Pepe and Captain Ramos strengthening the central defensive line. The full backs in Carvajal and Marcelo went on to be a deciding factor in the match.
The midfield trio consisting of Kroos, Modric and Isco seemed to be safe options. And with the likes of Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo or precisely the BBC the stage was set for a dream start to the Zidane era.
-Coming to the change in-game tactics and strategical manipulations that we were clearly visible from the last match, firstly that comes to mind is the switching or swapping of the wings, that was so regularly taking place. It was clearly visible under Carlo, but went out of sight during the Rafa reign, but now it was back.
Seeing Bale and Ronaldo switching their wings and playing on the minds of the opposition must have been a treat for all madridistas. It provided a lot of variation by adding to the game the dynamism of cut-ins or playing down the flanks. Even the full backs switched places to add width and depth to their wing plays.
-The Clean-sheet. It was after sometime that Real did manage to keep a clean sheet. The last game against Valencia clearly depicted their defensive disarray and Zidane had some serious mending to do. And mending he did. The team was defensively sound, attacking with all guns blazing, but pressing to perfection when they lost the possession. Each and every player trying to win the ball, be it their half or the opponent’s. Keylor Navas didn’t have much to do, except a few saves here and there. This must be the most positive sign in the eyes of each and every supporters and staffs out their.
-Work Rate. Watching Marcelo play tonight was like watching a kid play on the play ground, putting all his heart and soul into the match. And it wasn’t only Marcelo, starting from Carvajal, to Bale, to Modric, to even the “Not so known for this”, Ronaldo, everyone looked like they were playing to prove a point, and playing to take all three points.
-The Link-up play. Be it the link up between Bale and Ronaldo, that lead to a Ronaldo header hitting the bar post from a delicate chipped ball of Bale, or the link up between Isco and Ronaldo that saw a Ronaldo hit, just shy of the far post, the link up play today for Real Madrid was really an exciting prospect. Every one seemed to find their fellow players with ease, even in the opposition half. Something that definitely the new boss deserves credits for.
-Gareth Bale. When it comes to the talking points of a match, how can you overlook the man who netted three goals for a very a deserving hat-trick. With 10 goals in 7 matches the Welshman is pretty much up and running for the season and under the new boss he just seems to get better. Be it out pacing opponents in the flanks or threatening the opponent with dangerous headers, the Welsh wizard was all over the place.
Much criticised by the clubs fan base, this performance might have been an answer to all his doubters. Had his counterparts Benzema and Ronaldo, done well with their respective chances, he could have ended up with a hat-trick of goals and brace of assists. But definitely he was THE talking point of the match, surely winning over the Madrid fan base and his new manager.
To sum up, it would be just enough to say that though not at the pinnacle of their potential, but definitely it was a sound performance from the Los Blancos’ , just ticking all of the desired boxes for a dream start to a much apprehended era under their new manager, their club legend and footballing legend, Zinedine Zidane.
Quite amazing that when Zidane started his career as a player at Real Madrid, his first match was against Deportivo and his first Champions League match up for the Galacticos was against Roma. Eh! Sounds similar? Only time will tell if his managerial career at Real Madrid is as celebrated as his days as a player at the club.