Zinedine Zidane “got everything wrong” in Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League loss to Chelsea and could pay the price, Predrag Mijatovic has warned.
Madrid were beaten 2-0 by Chelsea in the second leg on Wednesday as Timo Werner and Mason Mount secured a 3-1 aggregate win in the semi-final.
It could have been a far more convincing scoreline had the Blues been more clinical at Stamford Bridge, while Madrid, who had 68 per cent of the ball, had only one shot on target after the 36th minute.
With Sergio Ramos back but the likes of Raphael Varane, Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez injured, Zidane opted for a 3-4-3 system in which his players rarely looked comfortable.
Edouard Mendy made two good saves from Karim Benzema in the first half but the Chelsea goalkeeper was largely a spectator as he kept an eighth clean sheet in the competition this season, a record for a goalkeeper at an English club.
Madrid could still end the season by defending their league title – they trail leaders Atletico Madrid by just two points with four games left – but former Madrid striker Mijatovic fears the loss to Chelsea may inflict lasting damage.
“Chelsea were really superior in everything: intensity, rhythm, creating chances.
“We like Zidane and he’s done many things, but he got everything wrong,” he told Cadena Ser.
“This tie will do a lot of damage to Zidane.
“So did the previous year, although the league covered some things. Zidane has got a lot of things wrong and that resulted in Madrid’s elimination.
“When they started the game and you saw they didn’t want to change the picture, with poor Vinicius playing in a position that isn’t his, Madrid did practically nothing.
“The team went out totally confused, without knowing what to do. We’ll see what happens in La Liga.
“The feelings you get from Madrid offer little to think the season will end well.”
Former Madrid goalkeeper Santiago Canizares praised Mendy for his decisive saves from Benzema, which ensured Chelsea took a 1-0 lead into half-time.
“Chelsea are not just physical. They have really good tactics and a great attacking and defensive balance. They’re a very tough nut to crack,” he said.
“We didn’t see phases of superiority from Madrid. The two chances Madrid had where from Benzema, but Mendy won the game.”
Zidane guided Madrid to three consecutive Champions League triumphs from 2016 to 2018, but they lost at the last-16 stage in the previous two seasons before succumbing to Chelsea this time.
Midfielder Casemiro, who feels Madrid have been left with little in the tank after a challenging year with injuries, felt their defeat proved just what a remarkable run it was to win the tournament three years running.
“We were better in the first 25 minutes, we had two chances with Karim,” he said. “Then they played better, they had more chances, but there’s no turning back now, we have to think about La Liga.
“I think Chelsea were superior and played better than us. After the year we’ve had with injuries, absences, COVID, without fans… we’ve tried. But they were better. We can’t be sad now, we have to think about Sevilla [on Saturday].
“We showed that what we did was historic. It’s not easy to win the Champions League. We showed again that it’s not easy to win this.”