By Steven Wyson
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane fumed at his team’s lack of intensity after the 13-times European champions started their Champions League campaign with a chastening 3-0 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday.
Real, record European champions, were overwhelmed, especially in midfield, and failed to muster a single shot on target at the Parc des Princes.
“Clearly they were better than us in every department — in the way they played, in midfield,” Zidane told a news conference. “What upset me is that we did not put enough intensity in the game and at that level of competition, it’s not possible.” Zidane said.
“They’re good at creating chances, that’s not what worries me. What worries me is that lack of intensity,” he added after Real suffered their first defeat of the season.
With their midfield players totally suffocated by the PSG duo of Idrissa Gueye and Marco Verratti, Real struggled to bring the ball forward.
“Failing to create proper chances with the players we have up front Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard is a weird feeling,” Zidane said. “You can play badly but if you have the intensity, if you fight for the ball, you’re in the game.” he added.
PSG indeed showed more enthusiasm and Angel Di Maria opened the scoring in aggressive fashion, bursting into the area to connect at the near post with Juan Bernat’s cross.
Gueye then burst through midfield to set up Di Maria for the second.
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was not at his best but Zidane brushed aside any criticism of the Belgian.
“It’s everybody’s fault. We win together, lose together,” Zidane said.
Keylor Navas who joined PSG this summer after five seasons as goalkeeper with Madrid, downplayed the win over his former club.
“I am very happy as we won, not because we beat Real Madrid. My teammates did a great job. I have no particular feelings against anybody with Real. I just want to enjoy this moment with my new club. “Everybody here is motivated and I will defend PSG’s colours like I did Real’s before. I will give my best.
“I want to continue to write my own story. What I had with Real was beautiful. Today, here, it is a new project for me. I want to be happy here, make the mist of each moment and that my family feels good is absolutely vital.” Navas said.