Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has admitted his responsibility for the Champions League winners lack of intensity during the embarrassing 3-3 draw at Legia Warsaw on Wednesday night (2 November) after his side surrendered a two-goal lead . The boss has been accused of underestimating the rival by deploying an experimental 4-2-4 formation after Los Blancos trashed them 5-1 only two weeks before at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Spanish fans and pundits demanded Zidane deploy Alvaro Morata ahead of Karim Benzema at Warsaw after the Spanish international scored three goals coming from the bench in the previous three encounters. The Real Madrid boss did started the former Juventus striker from the beginning but surprisingly partnered him with his untouchable BBC, using a very offensive 4-2-4 formation with only Toni Kroos and Mateo Kovacic holding the midfield.
The decision appeared to pay off after Gareth Bale put Real Madrid ahead in the 57 second of the game before assisting Benzema to double their lead. However, Real Madrid let Legia comeback and eventually required a late goal from Kovacic to rescue a point.
"We lacked a bit of everything, we lacked intensity... especially after going two goals up. We dropped intensity and when you do that, you are always going to be susceptible to conceding a goal. That's all. It was a complicated game and I am responsible for everything that happened. It's a strange feeling," Zidane admitted as quoted by AS after the game.
"There are a lot of things we need to look at. When you take a two-goal lead, there are moments when you need to think a little more and be more compact as a team and we didn't do that tonight. We left them spaces. But we have to be patient, we must forget about this game and start thinking about the next one".
The draw was a blow in Real Madrid's hopes to qualify for the Champions League last 16 at the leaders of the group F as they are now second on eight points, two behind Borussia Dortmund.
"This result makes that more difficult for us now, no doubt about it, but we have to travel to Portugal and we meet an important rival at our ground. We still could end top and we're going to try to do that," the Real Madrid boss added while defending his decision to deploy an experimental 4-2-4 formation with all Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Benzema and Morata in the line-up.
"It was more of a 4-4-2. I wanted to play with two up front. It's a system we've used in the pre-season. It worked well for us in the first half," he said.