Real Madrid: Three things we learned from a terrible performance vs. PSG

Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal, PSG, Kylian Mbappe (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal, PSG, Kylian Mbappe (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images) /
1 of 3

That was just horrendous, wasn’t it? Real Madrid fell 1-0 to a great PSG side on Tuesday, with Kylian Mbappe – who is rightfully being labelled as the best player in the world – scoring in the last minutes of the game to take the win. It was PSG’s best performance of the season, and Real Madrid’s worst. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

What are the things that we learned from this dismal showing?

Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal
Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal (Photo by Loic Baratoux/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

1) The game showed Real Madrid everything that’s wrong with them right now

Have I mentioned already that this game was an overall failure? Like, everything, from top to bottom, on and off the pitch, it showed everything that’s wrong with Real Madrid right now. Obviously, there’s a lot of good stuff happening with the team, but there’s also a lot of things that require changing. All of those bad things were on full display.

Dani Carvajal, who probably gave in the worst performance of his entire career, has practically no natural backup. So, it was either Mbappe flaming him on every single attack, or it was Mbappe flaming Lucas Vazquez on every single attack. That’s not a good example of squad building. I’ll go deep into Carvajal’s performance in another article, but this problem has been there for TWO YEARS now, it’s not something new.

Real Madrid sent Odriozola out on loan in the 2019-20 season and didn’t feel the need to sign a backup right-back. Last season, they knew Odriozola wasn’t going to be good enough but they ended up signing absolutely no one. When Vazquez performed well, they gave him a huge extension, rather than signing someone that can challenge Carvajal for a starting spot considering he’s been injured so much. I don’t know how long it took for the club to realise it was supposed to be a makeshift change, not permanent. I don’t know if the club has still realised that or not.

I read this tweet from Kiyan Sobhani, and I cannot relate more:

It was Real Madrid’s worst performance of the season, by quite some distance, and one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen from Real Madrid during my time as a fan. There were three good players, at max four, on the pitch: Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, David Alaba and Casemiro. Four defensive-minded players. It tells you what you need to know about how tragic this game was in every sense, because these players had to put in heroic shifts so that the game ends scoreless; there was absolutely no way Real Madrid were going to score.

Why did Karim Benzema get the start if he was going to play the way he played? If he wasn’t fit, why risk him in a game where the game plan is essentially out of the window from the get-go? He didn’t look fit, he didn’t feel involved in the game and because of that, Vinicius was completely isolated. Well, Vini was isolated simply because the rest of the team was in shambles. Vini couldn’t act as an outlet because PSG knew what Real’s game plan was right from the start. Truly a shambolic performance, my God.

Even Ferland Mendy didn’t look 100% fit, and the fact that he picked up an unnecessary yellow card that’ll keep him out of the second leg (as is the case with Casemiro) makes it ten times worse. I assumed Casemiro would get booked. I don’t know how Real Madrid will manage the second leg without two of their defensive juggernauts, with seemingly no proper replacement for any of them in the squad. If you even consider playing Marcelo in the return leg, the game’s already gone, no offense to Marcelo, of course, but you know why I’m saying this.

Ancelotti needs to adapt. He needs to change things up when the situation is practically begging for it. He needs to make changes when needed, so many of them. I don’t understand this man.

Real Madrid cannot play like this ever again. I know they won’t. They can’t, not without two of their best defensive players. Not only that, but also because this is rock bottom. I don’t know if it can get any worse.

They need to be a lot better than this, or else even Kylian Mbappe’s arrival wouldn’t get them a Champions League title.