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Three takeaways from Real Madrid's discouraging 2-1 loss against Sevilla

Zidane probably cost Madrid the game but it's not a big deal.

Sevilla FC v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Real Madrid appeared to have the game under control when Cristiano Ronaldo gave them the lead from the penalty spot and yet Sevilla managed to score twice on the last five minutes to put Real's unbeaten run to an end.

  1. Coach Zinedine Zidane cost Real Madrid the game and that's not a big deal. Zidane's man management has been one of the main reasons behind Madrid's 40 games without a loss but he's still learning the job and yesterday he made a huge mistake when he decided not to make any more substitutions even though his team was visibly tired. Zidane took Kroos out and entered Kovacic while men like Morata and Lucas Vazquez could have used their fresh legs to be a big threat on counterattacks when Sevilla decided to go after the equalizer. The French coach also decided to experiment with his tactics and started a very unusual —and somewhat ineffective— 5-3-2 formation which saw Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo way too isolated upfront, often waiting for their teammates to arrive just before turning the ball over. All in all, Zidane just got it all wrong but that doesn't mean he should be fired. A young coach simply made some mistakes.
  2. Keylor Navas is in trouble. The goalkeeper could've —and should've— saved both efforts by Sevilla. Had he been stronger and more secure in the air, Navas would have jumped and punched the ball away before Ramos sent it to Madrid's own goal, while Jovetic's shot on Sevilla's game-winning goal was clearly manageable had he been in better position, even though it appeared to be a great shot before taking a look at the replay. Meanwhile, Kiko Casilla performed well when given the chance in the Copa del Rey and will have more minutes against Celta this Wednesday. Can he challenge Navas for the starting spot?
  3. Where's Marco Asensio? Yes, he is still a very young player but Asensio showed he can be a very dangerous weapon when given room to operate, something Sevilla does quite often because of their attacking-minded tactics. It's not easy to trust such a young prospect against one of Spain's toughest teams, but Asensio should have played some minutes after Madrid scored the opening goal.

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