Tuesday’s night will be a decisive night for Los Blancos as they will have to chase down the 2 goal deficit and then, they could think of winning the game. Wolfsburg, considered as the weakest opponent in the quarter-finals completely overpowered Zidane’s men in their last game and showed their desire and their hunger to qualify for the next round.
It is but obvious that after the team conquered Camp Nou, the players, and the Manager didn’t take Wolfsburg as a serious threat and that resulted in a very humiliating defeat. The team played as if they were not aware of the threats from Draxler, Arnold and Henrique.
Turning down a 2 goal deficit is not an easy task to overcome. In the history of the Champions League, no team had overturned a two-goal defeat without the assistance of an away goal and that is the main reason, Real Madrid will have to struggle as their opponents will surely come with an all-out defense tactic.
The major area where Zidane’s squad suffered a lot was the both full-backs position where both Marcelo and Danilo were exposed time and time again. Both of them were unable to cope with the counter attacks of Wolfsburg and that resulted badly. Carvajal can replace Danilo in their next game and can be a worthy opponent but, the team is having a serious issue with Marcelo as he leaves so much of space in the defense. That was the major problem in Real’s game that night.
There is no doubt that Marcelo is one of the best playmakers for Real Madrid. His pace and his attacking prowess can overload the opponent’s midfield very easily. He provides a tremendous amount of acceleration to the squad but his overlapping runs leave spaces at the back
Both of the Wolfsburg’s goals came from the flanks and they did figure it out that how and when Real’s defense can be exposed. In the first goal, Danilo was exposed very easily by Julian Draxler who managed to curl a low cross in the box. And in the second goal, Marcelo was very poorly positioned that gave Bruno Henrique all the time in the world to give a low cross to Max Arnold and he made no mistake to capitalize the chance.
Marcelo often lost his position in Wolfsburg’s counter attacks and was seen nowhere near his marker. The team has an alternative for the right back position where Carvajal can replace Danilo but they don’t have a left-back on which they can rely so easily. Arbeloa can be an option as he can play on either of the flanks but, he will not provide the pace Marcelo brings, also, he is not quietly supported by his age. Marcelo’s desire to get forward worked against him that night. And, as he started to struggle against Henrique, he switched his performance into the dramatics, threw himself on the ground in a confrontation against Arnold. That is the main reason why he will be more of a liability for the team in their next game.
As they are now in need to shut down the deficit, they also will require a tough defense that could handle Wolfsburg’s counter attacks. By playing three center backs like Pepe, Ramos and Nacho could give Marcelo and Carvajal a freedom to run for the attacks. 3-4-3 formation could well work for the team in their next legs as the fullbacks (Carvajal and Marcelo) can shut down the attacks of their opponents at the half length of the pitch and can support the attack. With Marcelo and Carvajal playing most of their time in the opponent’s half, they could cause a nuisance to the well-organized Wolfsburg’s defense by creating chances for their attacking trio- B-B-C. With Marcelo and Carvajal on the flanks, it could allow the two most expensive players (Bale and Ronaldo) to have much freedom on the pitch.
Real will be looking to qualify for the semifinals and for that, their manager Zinedine Zidane has to be bold and strict to ensure that they achieve their target.