Real Madrid vs. Borussia Monchengladbach: 3 takeaways from a dominant win

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, Lucas Vazquez (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, Lucas Vazquez (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid had a clear plan

Despite the struggles and frustrations in 2020-2021, Zinedine Zidane has not been the main culprit for the issues Real Madrid have dealt with this season. But if there was one especially valid criticism of the three-peat Champions League manager, then it was his lack of a cohesive plan for Los Blancos in many of the team’s matches.

In this win over Borussia Monchengladbach, Zidane put his best foot forward and really embarrassed Marco Rose, who is widely regarded as one of the top managers in Germany.

Zidane pressed Gladbach so effectively that the visitors could scarcely get the ball out of their own half in the opening 45. By then, Real Madrid essentially had the game won. They never loosened their pressure and did a great job of forcing Gladbach to attack wide areas, where they basically had no chance of causing harm.

Offensively, Zidane allowed Toni Kroos and Luka Modric to do what they do best. He also made sure to take advantage of Rodrygo Goes and Lucas Vazquez on the right-hand side. Crosses aren’t efficient and can frustrate Madridistas, but Zidane’s men did a great job of being smarter with their crossing. Vazquez and Luka Modric caused a lot of problems on that right side, and Vazquez was able to pick his spot with his deliveries, which paid off when looking at the opener.

Defensively, Real Madrid pressed but did not get caught out, save for one poor play that Thibaut Courtois had to rescue by getting off his line quickly to force a miss. Other than that, Real were calm when playing out of the back, stayed patient in the face of Gladbach’s counterpress, and did not lose their shape.