In one of the most impressive performances of the season — a 3 - 1 demolition over Valencia in semi-finals of the Spanish SuperCopa — Zinedine Zidane deployed a surprise line-up which omitted any pure wingers; but rather packed the midfield with five players.
It worked beautifully.
When asked about it in the post-game presser, Zidane stated: “We could have played with more wide players, but we chose to use Isco and Modric inside to give the full-backs more freedom. It was an offensive line-up, but the most important thing was how we played in the opposition half, pressing high and causing them problems”.
“In the second half, we went about things well,” Zidane continued. “We always look for different options and that’s that. Things went as we wished today but the next game will be different. It was a great game”.
Other noteworthy comments from Zidane’s presser:
On Luka Jovic’s performance
“He played well despite not scoring. He had a chance to score, he worked really hard. It is hard when you have not played for a while but his hard work is crucial. I’m sure he wanted a goal, but the most important thing is his hard work, he gave his all and we’re a team unit”.
On Gareth Bale’s return
“At the moment he is not ready, he did not train this week. We have to speak to doctors, but the important thing is what the players did and we’re happy with the game”.
On Isco’s performance
“I am happy for him. He didn’t look weighed down whatsoever. They are all doing well and we want to get them all up to that same level. We need to keep that up. Every time a player gets on the pitch and puts in a good shift, it’s a positive for the coach”.
On the overall performance
“I’m happy with how everyone played, it’s difficult to pick one above the rest. I’m thrilled for Isco getting his goal, he needed that recently; Kroos’s inventiveness was fantastic, and Modric’s effort, that’s his speciality. It’s what a manager wants to see, for his players to be in great shape. We should be happy, but we haven’t won anything yet. We have to rest now, and tomorrow we’ll start preparing for the final”.
“In the second half, we went about things well. We always look for different options and that’s that. Things went as we wished today but the next game will be different. It was a great game”.
Some of Real Madrid's best performances under Zidane have come from games where he has to think outside the box due to injuries / suspensions. Today was another example. He talked a bit about the full-backs' role in a winger-less scheme in the post-game presser. pic.twitter.com/SZm1jcrsAu— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) January 9, 2020