Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has admitted he is unsure why his side have struggled defensively in recent weeks, but insisted that left-back Marcelo is not the problem.
His side were held to a disappointing 2-2 draw by Celta Vigo on Sunday, meaning they have now conceded seven goals in their last three games. Having begun the season with such a resilient defence, their recent form has come as quite a surprise.
Speaking after the game (via AS), Zidane admitted that he does not know why his side are struggling on that side of the ball recently, although he was quick to point out that Celta’s second goal only came about because of a sublime assist from Denis Suárez.
“It’s football, there is no explanation,” he said. “We have conceded two goals, sometimes there are mistakes and when we see the second goal, the pass is extraordinary. There is no more explanation.
“I don’t think [the team are struggling physically]. The season is also very long and we know that more complicated matches will come.
“Physically we are not bad, although we can improve even more. Our first five minutes were good, but they scored a goal and it cost us. We can improve in many aspects, not only physically. We will play against teams that are much better.”
Zidane was quick to avoid throwing Marcelo under the bus. The Brazilian replaced the impressive Ferland Mendy in the Real lineup but endured a challenging game at left-back, although his manager seemingly did not see it that way.
“I don’t think he makes us weaker defensively, because he was good at the back, but you always bring out stats,” Zidane responded.
“It hurts to lose two points at home; Celta are a good team who don’t deserve to be at the bottom.