More questions than answers for Zinedine Zidane after Real Madrid's 1-0 defeat to Tottenham

Sooraj Kamath - Writer 23:00 30/07/2019
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Real Madrid suffered yet another defeat in their pre-season tour after a first-half goal by Harry Kane handed Tottenham a 1-0 win in the Audi Cup semi-final.

The English striker converted a misplaced pass from Marcelo, that followed a mistake from Eden Hazard. Despite the narrow win on the scoreboard, Spurs were by far the better team and Madrid have Keylor Navas to thank for minimising the damage.

We take a deeper look at how the Spanish giants performed.

Hazard fails to impress

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard

Hazard has failed to register a goal in over 200 minutes of pre-season football at his new club. Although no conclusions can be drawn out of friendly games, the Belgian would surely have hoped for a better start at Madrid.

Numbers aside, the former Chelsea man failed to make an impact on the game from his No.10 role. Deployed in the central attacking midfield position, Hazard often shifted to the right wing but failed to impress in either position.

The 28-year-old misplaced several passes, one of which put Marcelo in a tough spot and ultimately led to Tottenham’s goal. The incoherence between Hazard and his new team-mates was visible and he must work on his link-up play.

Navas still the number one

Despite what coach Zinedine Zidane has had to say about Thibaut Courtois’ status as the first-choice goalkeeper, Navas appears to be the better shot-stopper. The Costa Rican was called into action more often than he would have expected and he was on point with his reflexes on most occasions.

Madrid conceded just two goals when Navas was guarding the posts during their humiliating 7-3 defeat to Atletico Madrid. The scoreline against Spurs could have been much harsher if the Belgian started between the sticks.

Zidane is better off choosing Navas as the first-choice until Courtois earns his place.

Rodrygo – The only bright spot for Madrid

Rodrygo

Rodrygo

Everything was off about Madrid’s play; the defence, the passing, the finishing and the desire to win the game. 18-year-old Rodrygo’s performance in the front-line was their only bright spoton what was a gloomy day.

The Brazilian talent actually had some substance to his approach and was their best player on the pitch. His dribbling, progressive play and the right attitude scripted a few promising moments for Los Blancos.

Madrid should definitely consider the youngster as a viable option despite their abundanceof attackers.

New season, same story

Sluggish play, mistakes at the back, lack of stability in midfield and over-reliance on crossing for chance creation – Madrid have not shown any improvements in their last two pre-season games.

Sergio Ramos has been poor and has produced his defensive prowess only in flashes. Marcelo has been average in attack and caught out of position quite frequently, thus leaving a huge hole on the left flank. The lack of depth at the back could come back to bite them during the course of the season.

Luka Modric was the only player who showed the slightest improvement from the previous season. The Croatian is still not close to the peak he reached during the World Cup last season but the signs of a possible resurrection are evident.

The amount of quality in the squad and Madrid’s performance in the pre-season are of stark contrast. Will they win the Champions League this season? Will they finish out of the top four in La Liga? Both? Anything is possible.

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