There is no greater symptom of crisis than the absence of answers. Real Madrid is running out. Few episodes reflect it more clearly than the passing of the team through Moscow and the successive public appearance of the coach, Julen Lopetegui, at a press conference in which he only admitted four questions. To the questions, always asking for explanations for the lack of goal that lasts for more than five hours of competition in League and Champions, the technician replied with the elusive argument of bad luck. "We have failed to mark the countless occasions we have had," he said, referring to the match against CSKA; "We have finished four balls to the clubs".
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Álvaro Odriozola leaves
As in a parable about destiny, the Luzhniki stadium closed a circle. Some of the Spanish internationals present at the World Cup this summer, said Lopetegui was quick to postpone the selection to sign for Madrid because he saw that he would be defeated in Russia during the World Cup and clung to an exit. The day that Spain was eliminated in the Luzhniki, on July 1, the coach was not sitting on the bench. But the draw of the Champions gave him a return as unexpected as unpleasant. Three months later Lopetegui fell defeated in Russia and memories of one of the most traumatic episodes in the history of Spanish football must have accumulated in his mind. Vertigo causes confusion. Maybe that's why he counted four shots to the clubs when his team got three.
Two headed Mariano and Benzema to the exit of more or less predictable lateral centers, and a shot from outside the area of Casemiro, all to the wood, do not constitute a baggage as to boast, in light of the development of the game. Lopetegui, very emaciated in his fleeting appearance, spoke as if the game of his team seemed appropriate.
"We have tried it from everywhere," he lamented, mechanic in his enumeration of optimistic considerations since the varapalo of Seville a week ago. "The work, the performance, the desire of the whole team, are beyond doubt. It was a rugged match. The rival marks us and finds an ideal scenario to close. Then we had that bad luck point … "
"You have to insist"
Soccer is not so mysterious. But Lopetegui's argument stopped at the ineffable. "We must insist," he riveted, to dispatch another question that inquired about the causes of the lack of punching of Madrid less scorer of the decade; "We must continue to generate opportunities and trust that we are more successful. I have no doubt that the team will see the goal and the path of victories. We have to swallow the bile that a team swallows whenever it has a defeat. Ten days ago we played a magnificent game against Roma. We were not invincible then, nor are we bad now. "
The shots to the sticks disguised the poverty of the attack production of Madrid, unable to successfully complete a dribble, a wall, an inside pass, or a significant number of diagonals or arrivals from outside. Everything remained in the most rustic resource of football: balls hung before overflowing the first line of resistance of the rival team. Symbol of the routine tone of all these maneuvers, Asensio focused up to five times. Always at the head of the Russians.
Vikctor Goncharenko, CSKA coach, said on Monday he saw the game as an opportunity, given that Cristiano's departure and Ramos' absence weakened the rival: "It may be the best moment to beat Madrid." Lopetegui recoiled when they told him the words of his colleague. "Tomorrow we'll talk!" He warned.
There was much to talk about in Russia, indeed. But the words fell with a dropper.