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Zidane 'doesn't have an XI he can rely on' - McManaman

7:32 AM MYT 19/09/2019
Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid 2019-20
Real Madrid's 3-0 defeat to PSG was their biggest Champions League loss under their French boss, leading to questions over who makes his best group

Zinedine Zidane “cannot find an XI he can rely on” said Steve McManaman after Real Madrid began their Champions League campaign with a 3-0 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain

Real’s defeat was their biggest in the competition under Zidane – the manager who won three successive European titles – as PSG ran out easy winners on a night when the visitors didn’t manage a shot on target. 

Two goals from Angel di Maria and a third from Thomas Meunier condemned Real to defeat in a competition they had been used to dominating, though they now face a daunting task to finish first in the group.   

“It’s disappointing to lose 3-0,” said McManaman on BT. “The goalkeeper was poor, certainly for the first goal.

“Madrid had numerous chances that they missed. Gareth Bale had a nice goal disallowed because it was accidental handball which they would say was harsh. But under the new rules, that is considered a foul. 

“But they’ve got big problems, Madrid. They’ve got an abundance of superstars in their squad. I went through the team and it’s incredible. Yet they cannot find an XI that they can rely on and play well.” 

Real sit third in La Liga and are unbeaten having picked up eight points from their first four games, but have struggled to find the kind of form they enjoyed during Zidane’s first spell. 

The Frenchman returned to the Bernabeu in March after the doomed reigns of Julen Lopetegui – who was sacked when the team were ninth in the league – and Santi Solari, who oversaw the team’s Champions League exit against Ajax

Striker Karim Benzema, making his 113th Champions League appearance for the club, became the highest-appearing Frenchman in the competition’s history, surpassing former international teammate Thierry Henry. 

“He keeps going back to Casemiro, [Luka] Modric, [Toni] Kroos,” said McManaman. “That midfield three, and with respect to them, their best days were three of four years ago. 

“Now they’re 32, 33, 34, and they need to refresh it very, very quickly. 

“Tonight they had Bale, Benzema and [Eden] Hazard up front and they need to do more for them.”