Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said his side looked short on confidence in their shock 3-2 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in their Champions League group-stage opener on Wednesday but shouldered the blame for his side’s slide in form.
Shakhtar were without 10 players due to a combination of COVID-19 positives and injuries but blew the 13-times European champions away in the first half, taking a 3-0 lead and missing more chances to add to the scoreline.
Real responded with goals from Luka Modric and Vinicius Jr after the break and had a last-gasp goal ruled out for offside but Zidane did not hide from the fact his side had been outplayed by their depleted opponents.
“We were lacking a bit of everything today but worst of all we were lacking confidence,” Zidane told a news conference.
“It’s difficult to think of what to say when you concede three goals in the first half. We made a mistake with their first goal and from then on it was very difficult.
“I’m left with a very bad feeling because of everything that happened tonight. It’s a bad game, a bad night but I’m the coach and I’m the one who has to find solutions. I didn’t find them tonight and it’s a very difficult moment for the players.”
Madrid were also beaten in their last league outing to Cadiz and have to pick themselves up for Saturday’s La Liga showdown at Barcelona, but Zidane did not think the twin defeats meant they could be in for a drubbing against their rivals.
“I have nothing to say to that, we’re going to turn up there on Saturday and we’re going to be prepared. This is a negative night for us but we have to change things,” added Zidane, who has won three Champions League crowns with Real and guided them to the Spanish title last season.
“I feel awful for the players, who have won so many things for me and don’t deserve this. But this is football, one day everything is grey and the next the sun comes out. Sometimes it’s very difficult and tonight is one of those times.”