Zidane furious at conceding 'laughable' goals

Brugge forward Emmanuel Bonaventure (left) reeling away after scoring the first goal in the Champions League Group A match against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday. Real recovered to clinch a 2-2 draw.
Brugge forward Emmanuel Bonaventure (left) reeling away after scoring the first goal in the Champions League Group A match against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday. Real recovered to clinch a 2-2 draw.PHOTO: DPA

MADRID • There are many ways to get knocked out of the Champions League and if that fate does befall Real Madrid, they may just have chosen the daftest of all.

They now need a big response to avoid going out in the group stages for the first time after following up a 3-0 defeat by Paris Saint-Germain with a 2-2 draw against Belgium's Brugge on Tuesday night.

And yet, while this result leaves them with a solitary point and bottom of Group A on goal difference, it could have been far worse after they were run ragged in the first half and went two goals down, with the half-time whistle met by a chorus of boos and furious whistles.

Forward Emmanuel Bonaventure had first stunned the Santiago Bernabeu crowd with a bizarre opener.

Despite his stumble, the Nigerian's miskick bounced off one leg and then the other before trickling past goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

While the goal was initially ruled out for offside, the video assistant referee overruled the decision.

The hosts found it hard to escape their own stupefaction, and Bonaventure profited again.

In similar fashion to his first strike, he almost lost his footing, but stayed upright long enough to dink the ball over Courtois, who was already on his way down, before annoying the fans by mimicking ex-Real forward Cristiano Ronaldo's "Siiiiii" goal celebration.

Facing his most embarrassing European defeat with the Spanish La Liga giants, Real coach Zinedine Zidane made a double change, hauling off the hapless Courtois, who has now let in 81 goals in just 58 games for Real, for Alphonse Areola and Marcelo for Nacho.

Real managed to rouse themselves after the break, with captain Sergio Ramos pulling one back, and when opposition skipper Ruud Vormer was sent off for two bookable offences, Casemiro's late header completed the rescue job.

Zidane, however, was unhappy, slamming their listless display in the first half, saying "the goals we conceded were laughable".

He added: "We know we are in a worse situation in the Champions League but we keep going."

At the Etihad, Pep Guardiola admitted Phil Foden's lack of minutes for the English champions was "unfair" after he came off the bench to score as Manchester City beat Croatia's Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 to take a three-point lead in Group C.

Fellow substitute Raheem Sterling nabbed the opener, and the victory left the City boss confident of "making the definitive step to be there (knockout stage)", with Serie A side Atalanta, bottom of the group after two losses, up next.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2019, with the headline 'Zidane furious at conceding 'laughable' goals'. Print Edition | Subscribe