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Real Madrid Showed Worrying Signs But It’s Not Time to Push the Panic Button Just Yet

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Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Super Cup Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s collapse in the second half of the UEFA Super Cup Final against Atletico Madrid left most fans and analysts shocked. There were some huge mistakes and Simeone’s men didn’t even give Los Blancos a chance during the last 30 minutes of the game. While there were some worrying signs, especially on defense, no drastic changes need to be made.

First of all, Madrid’s offense appeared to be just fine. They scored twice against a very solid Atletico de Madrid team and even created more chances they should’ve converted. That’s never easy to do against Simeone and his squad and Madrid yet put themselves in a good position to win the game. If you manage to score two goals you will win almost every single match. Or at least you should.

That’s where the defense comes in. Varane and Ramos were extremely poor and Navas could’ve done much more on at least two of Atletico’s goals. It seems that Thibaut Courtois will be the one starting as Navas wasn’t safe enough. Varane and Ramos will definitely improve from the performances they completed against Atletico as they get fit. Granted, Varane’s mistake just can’t happen at an elite level but he didn’t complete the pre-season with the team. Perhaps Nacho should have started alongside Ramos, whose play on Atletico’s opening goal was also very bad. Coach Julen Lopetegui will need to build a solid defensive system if he wants to succeed without Ronaldo. Madrid won’t be able to afford many 3-2 wins this season and it will be crucial to get more clean sheets now that the team has lost some firepower. Some fans are now saying that Mayoral is not good enough to come off the bench, but you wouldn’t have needed him had you been able to defend properly in the first place, so you don’t need a striker.

It’s clear that this club has lost some serious depth for the second year in a row. Do Vazquez, Ceballos and Mayoral have the quality to change the course of the game and earn you a comeback? That will most likely be Asensio’s duty once Modric is ready to start and Isco plays on the left wing, but if Asensio can’t do it, Real Madrid will be in trouble. It would be nice for Madrid to find a good player at the right price willing to come off the bench, but those players aren’t easy to find.

The best thing Real Madrid can do is play with composure and get clean sheets. Things will take care of themselves if they build a solid defensive system.