Football

Zinedine Zidane, Luka Modric bemoan Real Madrid's lack of confidence

Real Madrid crash to second straight shock home defeat by depleted Shakhtar

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said his side looked short on confidence in their shock 3-2 home defeat by Shakhtar Donetsk in their Champions League Group B opener yesterday morning (Singapore time), but shouldered the blame for his side's slide in form.

Shakhtar were without 10 players due to a combination of positive Covid-19 cases and injuries but blew the 13-time European champions away in the first half, taking a 3-0 lead and missing more chances to add to the scoreline.

Real responded with goals from Luka Modric and Vinicius after the break and had a last-gasp goal ruled out for offside, but Zidane did not hide from the fact his side had been outplayed by their depleted opponents.

"We were lacking a bit of everything today but, worst of all, we were lacking confidence," Zidane said.

"It's difficult to think of what to say when you concede three goals in the first half. We made a mistake with the first goal and, from then on, it was very difficult.

"I'm left with a very bad feeling because of everything that happened tonight. It's a bad game, a bad night but I'm the coach and I'm the one who has to find solutions. I didn't find them tonight."

Vinicius summed things up saying "nobody did things well today", while Modric agreed with Zidane about the dearth of confidence in the side.

Said the Croat: "We know that Shakhtar are a good side, and we didn't underestimate them. Simply put, we didn't start well, they scored the first goal and we let our heads drop...

"We lacked confidence today in everything we did in the first half."

Shakhtar defender Viktor Korniienko, however, disagreed, suggesting Real had underestimated his side.

UNDERESTIMATED

He said: "Real underestimated us, but we showed our football and our style.

"We showed our best football in the first half and scored three wonderful goals. We won this game before the break."

His coach Luis Castro added: "We created chances and we could have scored more."

Real were also beaten in their last league outing by Cadiz and have to pick themselves up for tomorrow's La Liga showdown at Barcelona, but Zidane did not think the two defeats meant they could be in for a drubbing against their rivals.

He said: "We're going to turn up there on Saturday and we're going to be prepared. This is a negative night for us, but we have to change things."

Modric added: "We have to be together, trust in ourselves and in our quality. We have not forgotten how to play football.

"El Clasico is always a different game and we are sure we can be up to the task."

Meanwhile, former Real midfielder Guti picked out Vinicius as a key player against Barca, saying: "There are many great players in this game, but I'm going for the youngsters.

"Surely it'll be Ansu Fati at Barcelona and Vinicius at Real Madrid (who can make an impact)." - REUTERS

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