Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane is under huge pressure after the Spanish giants’ poor start to the season continued in the Champions League.
The Bernabeu boss admitted his side were outplayed ‘in every department’ on Wednesday night as they suffered a 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
PSG were without key attacking trio Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavai and Neymar but still ran riot against Real, with Angel Di Maria coming back to haunt his former club with a fine brace.
Real also hit a 16-year European low in the game as they failed to land a single shot on target.
They did have two goals disallowed by VAR, from Gareth Bale [for a harsh handball] and Karim Benzema [for offside], but ultimately the final score was a fair reflection of the game as PSG dominated.
Madrid have been struggling with injuries, with Luka Modric, Marcelo, Isco and Marco Asensio all on the sidelines, while captain Sergio Ramos was suspended.
But Zidane admits his team just could not compete with the French champions and lacked intensity as he suffered his biggest ever European defeat as Real boss.
“They were better than us in every department, in the play, in midfield, and the thing that annoys me most is the intensity,” he told Marca.
“It’s difficult if you don’t start strongly. They’re good at creating chances, that’s not what worries me, it’s seeing my team without the necessary intensity at the high level of this competition.
“We knew they were going to press us, but we barely made any impact on the game and we created few chances.”
Zidane also refused to lay the blame at the door of any of his players, adding: “We’re all in the same boat here, I’m not going to single anyone out.”
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The Frenchman’s return to Real has not gone to plan. In 17 games since his reappointment as manager in March, Los Blancos have won just seven, drawn four and lost five.
During his first spell in charge, which saw him guide the club to three straight Champions League titles, he boasted a win percentage of 80 per cent. Since coming back it reads as just 56 per cent.
And now the World Cup winning legend is facing claims he is not up to the task at Real and that his original success at the Bernabau was down to one man – Cristiano Ronaldo.
And the defeat to PSG wasn’t a one-off. Real were 3-0 up at home to Levante on Saturday and eventually won 3-2, and only avoided drawing 3-3 thanks to a brilliant late save from Thibaut Courtois.
They also drew 2-2 at Villarreal earlier this season, and the player who scored both of their goals was Bale – the man Zidane attempted to force out over the summer.
They also spent €300million in transfer window, but fans are not seeing any improvement on the pitch with top signing Eden Hazard yet to score or make an assist in a white shirt.
Everybody knows managers have a short life expectancy at Real Madrid but, having made the decision to end his first spell himself, Zidane may find he is given the boot if results and performances do not improve.