Care­less Real held

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

REAL MADRID coach Zine­dine Zi­dane cursed his side’s care­less­ness after the Euro­pean cham­pi­ons threw away a two-goal lead against Le­gia War­saw and needed a late equaliser from Ma­teo Ko­vacic to sal­vage a 3-3 draw yes­ter­day.

Zi­dane was un­happy how his side lost their in­ten­sity amid a strange at­mos­phere at an empty sta­dium. UEFA had ruled the game be played be­hind closed doors after crowd trou­ble at Le­gia’s pre­vi­ous Cham­pi­ons League game at the Pol­ish Army Sta­dium.

Gareth Bale’s stun­ning ac­ro­batic ef­fort gave Real the lead after 57 sec­onds – the club’s fastest goal in the Cham­pi­ons League – and Karim Ben­zema made it 2-0 in the 35th minute, only for Le­gia to stage a stun­ning come­back.

Thibault Moulin put the Pol­ish cham­pi­ons ahead after goals from Vadis Od­jidja and Miroslav Radovic ei­ther side of half­time pegged Real back, leav­ing Zi­dane an­gry with his side de­spite Ko­vacic avert­ing a first de­feat of the sea­son.

“When you score two goals away from home you nor­mally have things un­der con­trol but in the end we let our op­po­nents back into the game,” Zi­dane told a news con­fer­ence.

“Once they got the first goal back it be­came dif­fi­cult for us. We lacked ev­ery­thing: in­ten­sity, move­ment, en­thu­si­asm. Some­times you get games like this and now have to be pa­tient. The good thing is we didn’t lose.”

Real have con­ceded seven goals in four Cham­pi­ons League games and have now gone 10 games with­out a clean sheet in all com­pe­ti­tions, but Zi­dane, who was with­out cen­tre­backs Ser­gio Ramos and Pepe through in­jury, re­fused to blame his back four.

“It wasn’t the worst game in de­fence. We started well and scored twice, but if you don’t main­tain the nec­es­sary in­ten­sity to con­tinue play­ing well it’s dif­fi­cult.

“After the se­cond goal we dropped our in­ten­sity. I’m happy with our de­fence be­cause it’s not just a ques­tion of our de­fend­ers.”

Asked about Real’s long run with­out a clean sheet, Zi­dane added: “It’s not wor­ry­ing but we know what we need to do and we can im­prove. We need to keep work­ing so it doesn’t hap­pen again.

“Be­fore the game, I said that op­po­nents can cause us prob­lems if we don’t play with enough in­ten­sity, and to­day we re­laxed after scor­ing the two goals. To­day, we’re left with a strange sen­sa­tion.” – Reuters Real Madrid for­ward Gareth Bale (2nd right) and Le­gia War­saw mid­fi­fielder Vadis Od­jidja both go to head the ball dur­ing their Cham­pi­ons League Group F match in War­saw, Poland yes­ter­day.

– AFPPIX

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