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Real Madrid players shocked by Zinedine Zidane's decision to drop Toni Kroos, Ferland Mendy in loss to Valencia 

Zinedine Zidane is under pressure after Real Madrid
Zinedine Zidane is under pressure after Real Madrid's loss to Valencia
Modified 10 Nov 2020, 12:48 IST

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has reportedly come under fire from his own players after his decision to drop Toni Kroos and Ferland Mendy for the 4-1 loss against Valencia on Sunday.

According to Marca, the Real Madrid dressing room is discontent after Zidane's decision at the weekend, especially in the face of the result, which was an embarrassing defeat for the defending La Liga champions.

Real Madrid conceded three penalties in the game, all of which were scored by Carlos Soler. Raphael Varane also scored a peculiar own goal to compound their issues and give Valencia a first win in four La Liga games.

Real Madrid's loss left them four points behind early La Liga leaders Real Sociedad, though Zidane's side have a game in hand at the moment.

Both Kroos and Mendy had played pivotal roles in Los Blancos' 3-2 win over Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League last week. So, them being dropped from their first team to face Valencia left the squad shocked.

Zidane takes responsibility for Real Madrid loss to Valencia

Toni Kroos did not feature in Real Madrid
Toni Kroos did not feature in Real Madrid's La Liga loss to Valencia

After the game, Zidane did take responsibility for the defeat, saying that he was the person who had to be blamed the most for the defeat.

"We started the first half-hour well," Zidane said.

"After the goal we fell apart and changed the dynamics. Everything happened to us; three penalties, an own goal. It is difficult to understand."

Zidane also said that he would not try to give any excuses for the defeat, which was fully on him.

"There is no justification or excuses," he said.

"I don't think Valencia has been tactically better than us. The only thing is that we started well and everything changed after the goal.
"This is difficult to understand but yes, the one most responsible is me. We must find solutions after the goal they scored."

Real Madrid were without both Casemiro and Eden Hazard for the game against Valencia, which added to Zidane's selection issues.

Zidane started with Isco and Federico Valverde accompanying Luka Modric in midfield, with Marcelo starting at left-back ahead of Mendy.

Marca are also reporting that there is now plenty of internal pressure on Zidane, especially from the players.

Real Madrid have been indifferent to start the season, with inconsistency plaguing them. After the international break, Real Madrid travel to Villareal to face Unai Emery's men, who are currently in second spot in La Liga.

Published 10 Nov 2020, 12:48 IST
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