September 19, 2019
The team were incapable even of the basics in Paris and it is a wonder Spanish clubs have not exploited the weaknesses more
For decadent, deficient Real Madrid the problems start in midfield | Jonathan Wilson
As Thomas Meunier and Juan Bernat capered through the open savannah that archaeologists believe was once populated by the Real Madrid midfield, the mind was drawn to another Parisian night two and a half years ago, when Ángel di María orchestrated an even more emphatic victory for PSG over a Spanish side. As it turned out, that 4-0 win over Barcelona didn’t turn out particularly well for PSG but, more generally, what on earth is going on with midfields in la Liga?
On a night when Atlético twice conceded goals on the break at home to Juventus, the issue seems particularly acute. Last season the big three Spanish sides leaked three or more in a game to Liverpool (Barcelona); CSKA Moscow and Ajax (Real Madrid); and Borussia Dortmund and Juventus (Atlético). In each case the major problem was the same: a ponderous midfield being shredded in transition. There had been glimmers of the issue the season before, in Real Madrid’s defeat at Tottenham and Barcelona’s embarrassing collapse in Rome, which itself had been foreshadowed by the problems they’d had against Chelsea in the previous round.
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