Real Madrid vs. Elche: 3 takeaways from a 2-1 win on Matchday 27

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images) /

There was no real plan

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane surprised us with a back three against Elche, and that defensive setup actually worked well. Nacho Fernandez, in particular, enjoyed it, as he started on the left and was able to move up the pitch to join the attack. He even put in a nice longshot late in the match and took some calculated risks, which was nice to see.

But outside of that, the starting XI and overall tactical setup was poor. I’m not quite sure what Zidane was trying to achieve. He had Ferland Mendy and Lucas Vazquez as wing backs, and that was a disaster. Fede Valverde and Isco played as a double-pivot ahead of Casemiro, who would later start charging into the box to try and score. Aside from Fede, none of them were impressive in an attacking sense. And that’s not on Isco or Case; it’s on Zidane for asking them to do too much.

Vinicius Junior worked hard to make things happen, but he wasn’t able to consistently impact the game in the final third. And that’s essentially the same story as usual. I wonder if, in this setup, it would have been better to use Vini as a wing back as Zidane did to success last month against Getafe.

Real Madrid got through this match with a win, but the issues across the first 70 minutes must be remembered by Madridistas going forward. A lot of them are repeat problems, including the lack of chance-creation and the aimless lateral passing in the final third.