A week after their inaugural 0-0 at Real Sociedad, Real Madrid were hooked for a long time before narrowly winning 3-2 on Saturday in Sevilla against Betis for Matchday 3 of La Liga, and the tactical adjustments of Zinedine Zidane is struggling to bear fruit.
Speed on the sides, with Vinicius and Rodrygo?
It didn't work last Sunday.
Two pure associated center-forward, with Karim Benzema and Luka Jovic this Saturday?
"Zizou" can breathe: Saturday, Real Madrid scored three times to pocket their first victory of the season ... but narrowly escaped the situation, with an opportunistic goal from Fede Valverde (14th), another against his camp of Emerson (48th), directly excluded on a red card a few minutes later (67th), and a penalty from Sergio Ramos (80th) offered by video refereeing, for a hand from Marc Bartra that went unnoticed in the surface.
- "Inefficiency? No", according to Zidane -
Despite three achievements on Saturday, after two matches, the French coach has not yet found the solution to infuse offensive binder in his eleven.
And Betis responded in quick succession, by the Algerian international central defender Aissa Mandi from the head (35th) and the Portuguese international defensive midfielder William Carvalho (37th), found by Nabil Fekir.
"I do not quite agree," had swept "Zizou" Friday at a press conference, questioned about the lack of realism of his team.
"Every time we are not going to score, it will be ineffective? No. There will be matches where we will score, others less. But I would sign every day so as not to take goal but score one, "confessed the Marseille technician.
At the Benito-Villamarin stadium, where the "White House" had conceded its last defeat in La Liga on March 8 (2-1), Zidane's men still had great difficulty in transforming their chances on Saturday.
A goal from Benzema canceled for offside (2nd) and a shot sent on the crossbar (52nd), a missed shot from Ferland Mendy (6th), two big misses from captain Sergio Ramos (15th, 40th), a Jovic still too much shy after a failed first exercise ... Real have tried everything, but lacked efficiency.
- Kroos, touched?
Zidane had again upset his favorite device (4-3-3) for a 4-4-2 diamond ... which turned out to be harmless.
He tried to remedy this, chatting at length with his assistant David Bettoni in the first half, then pulling out Toni Kroos (visibly embarrassed by pain in the back of his left thigh) and Martin Odegaard at the break, to do respectively enter Luka Modric and Isco.
But nothing worked.
As in the last eleven days of Liga 2019-2020 which have been so successful between June and July (ten wins, one draw) before his coronation, Real had few chances on Saturday.
The difference is that this season, Real do not transform them any more ... and come out of it narrowly.
After two matches, the Madrilenians pocketed their first success of the season and total four happy points.
They are provisionally in 5th place in the standings in La Liga, before the entry into contention of the Catalan rival on Sunday (19:00 GMT) against Villarreal at Camp Nou.
For Nabil Fekir's Sevilla Betis, this performance promises a bright future, despite the defeat: after a mixed 2019-2020 season (15th in La Liga), the team traded their ambitions for good play at all costs for a desire for results.
Under the direction of their new Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini, the Andalusians have regained a certain defensive solidity.
And after three days, Betis is provisionally co-leader of the Spanish championship with Granada (6 points).
© 2020 AFP