5 matches where Zinedine Zidane showed his tactical acumen
5 games where Zidane showed he is more than just a great man-manager.
Real Madrid have been very successful under Zinedine Zidane. Ever since he took over in January 2016, they have won the Champions League twice and La Liga once in his short stint so far.
Zidane is known more as a manager who is great with man-management rather than being a tactical genius. However, his tactical acumen has been underrated at times as there have been matches where Zidane showed that he can make the perfect tactical calls to unlock the opposition and help the team win.
We take a look at 5 matches where Zidane showcased his understanding of the game in terms of tactics and lead Real Madrid to a win.
#5 Real Madrid vs Sevilla (3-0), Copa Del Rey 2016-17
Back then, Jorge Sampaoli's Sevilla were playing great football in Spain and stood in the top 3 in La Liga when they faced Real Madrid in the round of 16 of Copa Del Rey. Sevilla liked to press high and were playing some great attacking football. They were deemed to be a tough challenge for Real Madrid as the first leg took place at Santiago Bernabeu.
Zidane first decided to surprise everyone by not including any of the BBC upfronts. He went in with a front line of Morata, Asensio and James and decided to match the high press of Sevilla with a counter press of his own, catching Sevilla and Sampaoli completely off-guard.
Sevilla liked to build from the back, but relentless pressing and closing down of passing lanes from Real Madrid meant they endured a very tough first half. The first goal by James came after Casemiro pressed high up the pitch and won the ball.
Real Madrid scored 3 goals in the first half and it could easily have been more as Sevilla looked completely out of ideas in countering Real Madrid. In the second half, the pressing died down, however, as the result of the match and that of the tie was almost confirmed.