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Zinedine Zidane says Real Madrid's midfield lacks defensive balance

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The Real Madrid manager is concerned about the emerging loopholes in the makeshift midfield.

Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane was analytical of his midfield performance against Legia Warsaw

Real Madrid defeated Legia Warszawa 5-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu in their Champions League game yesterday. Despite putting a dominating attacking display, Zinedine Zidane feels that his side could have achieved more from the game had their defence been perfectly sturdy. The manager believes it was due to a revamped midfield which enhanced their penetration going forward at the cost of defensive loopholes. 

"The good thing is that we made many chances to score and scored five goals," Zidane said. "I am happy with the attacking performances. We played a very offensive XI and that meant more risks.

"Defensively, the balance of the team was not perfect sometimes. They did not really make chances but were able to counter-attack easily sometimes.

"But that was the option taken and we played a bit more attacking today. Sunday will be another game and a different team."

Recently, Sergio Ramos joined Casemiro and Luka Modric on the injury list and it seems Zidane has had to give it a good thought on how to replace the key trio. Zidane deployed Marco Asensio and James Rodriguez alongside Toni Kroos in a midfield experiment which at times seemed to lose balance defensively. However, Asensio did well with his attacking intent along with compatriots Alvaro Morata and Lucas Vazquez who came off the bench to score. 

Read more: UEFA Champions League 2016-17: Real Madrid 5-1 Legia Warsaw - 5 talking points

"The [young Spaniards] did very well, not just in the game today, but with their work all week," Zidane said. "We will have many games and all players will get chances. But I am happy with what the three up front are doing."

Early in the game, Gareth Bale opened the scoring. However, Cristiano Ronaldo was a star missing from the score sheet although he did set up two of the goals scored. Zidane didn’t seem worried when asked about Ronaldo but hoped that he would score as expected.

"I did not say anything special to Cristiano after the game," he said. "Sometimes we expect a lot from him. In a game like this, we want him to score three or four times. But he provided two assists, even if he did not score today. I also like that. That is part of his game too.

"It is true we expect more from him as he is Cristiano, and he knows that. He scored on Saturday, and he will score next weekend I hope."

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