Elche seriously grew into their Wednesday night match against Real Madrid after making it 1-1 from the spot early in the second half, but Zinedine Zidane waited until the 77th minute to make his first substitutions – with Eden Hazard and Fede Valverde coming on. After the game, the coach was asked why he made so few changes and why he made them so late, with his only other personnel change coming as Vinícius came on in the 86th minute.
This is something that has also happened in other recent matches and Zidane defended his approach. He said: “When it comes to making substitutions, you must be very clear on what you want from them. We weren’t playing poorly, so that’s why I waited until later. The changes then didn’t give us the boost we were looking for.”
The Frenchman was also asked about the pre-match changes, as Marcelo and Marco Asensio came in. He replied: “I’m satisfied with how both of them played. I’m happy with the rest of the performances as well. Obviously we don’t feel great because we couldn’t take our chances to kill off the game and we’ve dropped two points.”
Atlético Madrid did win on Wednesday, but Zidane isn’t overly concerned at the gap to the city rivals. He stated: “The season is very long and everyone will drop points.”