The first goal was a joke - Zidane unhappy with Real Madrid's shambolic start

By Daniel Lewis 2 October 2019 46
The first goal was a joke - Zidane unhappy with Real Madrid's shambolic start

Zinedine Zidane described Club Brugge's opening goal as a "joke" as Real Madrid were made to pay for a terrible first-half display in their 2-2 draw.

Madrid were two goals down before half-time in Tuesday's Champions League group match at the Santiago Bernabeu through a double by Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis.

Dennis miscontrolled Percy Tau's cross but the ball still found its way past a wrong-footed Thibaut Courtois, with the ninth-minute goal allowed to stand following a lengthy VAR check for a possible offside infringement.

The 21-year-old striker doubled his tally 39 minutes in with a clipped finish over Courtois, who was replaced at half-time along with Nacho Fernandez.

Sergio Ramos pulled one back for Madrid 10 minutes into the second half and Casemiro equalised five minutes from time, but Zidane was left bemused by the nature of his side's first-half performance.

"It is a bad result but the reaction was good," he told Movistar. "We cannot be happy - the first goal was a joke. But I am sticking to the positives - the players changed the game with their attitude in the second half.

"In the end it is not that I am happy to add one point - there was room to add three - but I'm happy with the reaction.

"It is not that we started badly, but then we were not concentrating on where the opponent could harm us.

"In the end I want to focus on the last 45 minutes. We can't be happy but you always have to be thinking about the positive."

Courtois was among those targeted for jeers as Madrid's players made their way off the field at half-time.

However, Zidane tried to take some of the blame off Courtois' shoulders and confirmed the Belgian goalkeeper was replaced due to feeling ill.

"Courtois wasn't well and couldn't continue," Zidane said. "I'm not at all worried about Thibaut's form or anything else. The only thing I'm interested in is doing things well, like we did in the second half.

"We could blame Thibaut but we are all involved, me more than anyone."

The 2-2 draw with Brugge comes two weeks on from a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain in their Group E opener, making this Madrid's worst start to a Champions League campaign.

LaLiga leaders Madrid are bottom of their group and travel to Galatasaray for their next outing on October 22.

"The margin of error in the Champions League is minimal. We will see," Zidane said, when asked about his side's hopes of a top-two finish.

"We already have a league match on Saturday and we will see the next Champions League. We are in a slightly worse situation; the situation has not changed much but we will continue."

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