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Zidane’s tense post-match interview: “If you ask me three times… maybe the system change did hurt us”

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Discussed the tactics of the Real Sociedad draw.

Real Madrid v Real Sociedad - La Liga Santander Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad on Monday night and Zinedine Zidane was frustrated with the result. He was also frustrated with the line of questioning in the post-match interview he gave to Movistar.

Asked about his system change to play with three centre-backs, Zidane said: “I wasn’t happy with our pressing and we changed the system for 10 or 15 minutes before changing again. We were better with 4-3-3 and with the substitutions who came on.” Pressed on this and asked if he feels the system change ended up hurting the team, Zidane responded: “Yes, maybe. If you ask me and you’ve done so three times now then it could be the case.”

The interview remained fairly tense and the there was confusion when Zidane was asked why he changed all three of his forwards at the same time, with the coach thinking the interviewer was asking about the starting line-up.

Later, in his post-match press conference, Zidane was calmer. He lamented the fact that Los Blancos couldn’t take their chances, saying: “We had three of four chances in the first half and didn’t score, but in the second half we also had lots of chances. Thankfully one of them went in. We dropped two points, but I’m fairly happy with what we did. I think we deserved more given how many chances we had. They had one chance and scored one. We dominated. That’s football, though, as we’ve also had matches where we’ve won without necessarily deserving to.”

It was put to Zidane that this performance might actually have been better than the ones across the recent five-match winning streak. On that, he replied: “I don’t know if it was the very best. The best is when you win! But, we had a good match today. The thing is that we lost two points today and I’m upset for the players after all the effort they put in.”

Asked about the title race in general, the Frenchman insisted that points will be dropped by everyone, saying: “All teams are dropping points over a season. We know we have to pick up points. We’ll try to do that. I repeat this a lot, but there’s a long way to go.”

Finally, he was asked if he thinks Karim Benzema can return in time for the derby vs Atlético Madrid on Sunday. He said: “I think he could be with us. That’s the plan. But, we’ll see because he hasn’t trained with the team yet. He’s doing a lot better, but we’ll start evaluating this tomorrow.”