Zinedine Zidane made wholesale changes for the trip to Mallorca on Saturday night and it was a decision the Real Madrid coach may well be regretting.
A 1-0 reverse against LaLiga’s newboys – a first league defeat for Madrid this season – saw Los Blancos lose top spot to Barcelona in a match the visitors rarely looked like winning.
Zidane was forced into numerous changes through injuries and other absentees – Eden Hazard became a father for the fourth time and was allowed to miss the match – but the eleven fielded at Son Moix showed there is no Plan B in place.
Gareth Bale, Lucas Vázquez, Raphael Varane, Dani Carvajal, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos were amongst the missing faces and those who came in to place them, such as Isco, Alvaro Odriozola – sent off for two bookable offences – and Luka Jovic, did little to inspire.
The changes were forced and with Tuesday’s trip to Istanbul to face Galatasaray in a huge Champions League clash in mind.
Jovic failed to test the Mallorca goalkeeper, although the service was poor, and players such as Isco and James Rodríguez failed to take their opportunities.
The performance was a fair cry to that of Zidane’s first era as coach, whereby he could call on his ‘second string’ and be confident of coming out of matches with three points and with his stars rested.
Now the Frenchman may think twice when rotating his squad after the disappointment of three points dropped in Mallorca.