A depleted Actual Madrid moved to inside 5 factors of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid on Tuesday by beating struggling Getafe 2-0. Madrid have been with out 9 first group gamers, prompting Zinedine Zidane to undertake a 3-5-2 formation which he admitted that they had not practised, with Marcelo and the 20-year-old Marvin Park as wing-backs. Karim Benzema and Ferland Mendy scored the targets at Valdebebas, with Mendy’s end teed up by his fellow left-back Marcelo, who revelled in his new position.
Madrid’s victory places them in sight of metropolis rivals Atletico even when Diego Simeone’s aspect have performed two video games fewer.
“We’ve got to imagine in ourselves, we’ve got to combat,” mentioned Zidane. “There may be lots of the league left, quite a bit in entrance of us.”
Atletico had slipped up for the primary time in 9 league matches on Monday night time, a late equaliser conceded in a 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo giving Madrid and Barcelona a ray of hope within the title race.
And whereas the trophy stays very a lot in Atletico’s palms, Madrid can solely hope to extend the strain by constructing some momentum themselves, particularly with a Champions League tie in opposition to Atalanta across the nook.
Final week, an indignant Zidane had castigated reporters for exhibiting his group a scarcity of “respect” following a run of simply two wins in seven matches, which included going out in each the Spanish Tremendous Cup and Copa del Rey.
His gamers have responded, backing up a gutsy win over Huesca on Saturday by seeing off a Getafe aspect that look a pale shadow of the group that has challenged for the highest 4 in latest seasons.
They drop to thirteenth, 4 factors above the underside three.
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“We performed with an excessive amount of respect, an excessive amount of concern,” mentioned Getafe coach Jose Bordalas. “We’ve got to alter and rediscover our id.”
Zidane’s lengthy checklist of absentees consists of Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard, Eder Militao, Alvaro Odriozola, Lucas Vazquez, Fede Valverde, Dani Carvajal, Toni Kroos and Rodrygo.
To adapt, Zidane opted for a again three of Raphael Varane, Nacho and Mendy, with Marcelo at left wing-back and a shock begin for Park, who was born in Mallorca and coached at Tranmere Rovers in England earlier than becoming a member of Madrid’s youth groups in 2016.
“In the long run we weren’t in a position to put together it or prepare very a lot however we spent a little bit of time speaking about it,” mentioned Zidane. “The gamers have delivered very properly what we mentioned, which is nice as a result of it isn’t a system we’re used to taking part in with.”
Casemiro and Benzema each missed possibilities early on, the latter grazing the crossbar with a header, earlier than Luka Modric drew an excellent save after the primary of many marauding Marcelo runs.
Getafe provided little, though Marc Cucurella had a gap within the field within the second half however took too lengthy and the prospect was misplaced.
Benzema struck on the hour, nodding in a pin-point cross from Vinicius Junior, who had dropped into the suitable wing-back slot after Park went off.
The second got here six minutes later and was even higher, Marcelo driving to the road earlier than selecting out the surging Mendy, who stretched out a leg and diverted in.
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