FilGoal | News | Zidane’s chess that knocked out the Atletico Madrid knot


Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane not only used his footballing ideas to beat Atletico Madrid on Saturday, but went further than that to achieve the first victory over the Diego Simeone La Liga battalion since 2012.

As a coach, the Frenchman is distinguished by the flexibility to deal with decisions that may turn out to be wrong or sometimes useless, as was evident in the Spanish capital’s derby.

It also started in the Spanish Super Final that took place in Saudi Arabia last January, Zidane started a meeting on Saturday, five in the middle consisting of Casemiro, Luca Modric, Tony Croce, Federico Valverde and Isco, and in front of them Karim Benzema.

Five-way position in the middle was to control the ball and reduce the rebounds of Atletico Madrid, which remains fatal even with the presence of Alvaro Morata and the Angel of Korea, even in the absence of Diego Costa for injury and the departure of Antoine Griezmann.

The presence of the five was also necessary, or so Zidane believed, to overcome the pressure of Atletico Madrid, as more options in the middle mean more passes in the offensive guest areas, until a gap in Simeone’s defense to score.

Valverde played on the right against Modric to turn into a wing while owning the ball, with the support of the Croatian in defense due to his physical strength and great effort.

Turned left, Isco was stationed with the same Valverde offensive missions to play as a wing and extending Ferrlan Mendi with balls, but what Zidane wanted was not implemented due to the organization Atletico de Madrid.

Isco was always going deep and not playing on the wings, and Mindy did not go up too much for the attack, so Real Madrid seemed “strangled” in the center of the Atletico Madrid stadium because there was no player able to “expand” the stadium to the left, thus creating more spaces.

Places where Isco touched the ball in the first half shows that.


The problem was not only with Isco, but was Benzemas constant exit from the box.

With Benzema not positioned in the box and Isco moving away from the wing, no Real Madrid player was present in the Atletico Madrid penalty area, so the cross passes resulted in no danger.



Here Zidane intervened between the two halves of the meeting, he made a change to solve his team’s crisis. Like chess, he sacrificed a player to complete the plan.

Zidane withdrew Isco and pushed Vinicius Jr. to play as a left wing. Another change was pulling Tony Croce and pushing Lucas Vasquez.

Kroos was not bad during the first half and even kept Real Madrid possession, but Kroos is not as innovative as Modric in passing between lines and overcoming pressure with his skills, nor does he have a defensive effort like Valverde, and it is difficult to come back to cover behind Vinicius and Mindy as they advanced.

So Vasquez was forced to play at Modric front, supporting him defensively and returning to play against Danny Carbajal so that the line-back would not be in position 1 against 2 of Atletico Madrid players.

The form of Real Madrid in the second half changed to:

Casemiro is in front of Modric on the right and Valverde on the left, then Vasquez and Vinicius as wings.

Here Zidane expanded the stadium, and Mindy became more free thanks to Vinicius.

Notice the locations of Mindy passes in the first half. Mendi only passed a ball from the borders of the Atletico Madrid penalty area.


As for the second half, Mende passed 4 times from the borders of the Atletico penalty area, including the goal ball.


Real Madrid would not have scored had it not been for Zidane’s change, because Vinicius “Al Mahri” pulled Atletico players towards him and then passed to Mindy.

Notice Jimmy Versalkos progress from his position and put pressure on Vinicius with the help of Marcus Llorente, with Lemar’s oversight of Mindy. Had it not been for Venus on the pavilion, Mindy would have been trapped between Versalco, Limar and perhaps Llorente.


The rise of Versalko created a great space between him and Savic, who in turn set up to move to the right to reduce the gap.

At the time, Vinicius was passing the ball behind Frasalco to Mindy, who in turn defeated Limar.



As Mindy came close to sending the cross and Savic stepped up to press him, Benzema was doing his best, moving between the defenders. Benzema, who was stationed at the beginning of the attack outside the penalty area, decided to enter the box with the fall between Felipe and Lodi on the far post, to be one touch enough to score the winning goal.


A goal scored due to Zidane’s changes, which addressed the defect that had paralyzed the Real Madrid movement on the left side, and was aware of the gap that will be produced on the right side after the departure of Vinicius, and he also addressed it before being exploited by Atletico Madrid.

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