Zinedine Zidane admitted failure after Real Madrid crumpled like a pack of cards inside the MetLife Stadium New Jersey on Friday night as Laliga rivals Atletico Madrid got in their element, winning 7-3 in a pre-season International Champions Cup match.
Diego Costa scored four goals for Atletico before he was sent off in the 64th minute along with Real Madrid’s Daniel Carvajal after both players clashed.
Goals from Costa (1′), Joao Felix (8′), Angel Correa (19′), and Costa again (28′, 45′ pen) ensured that Atletico confounded Real Madrid with 5-0 first half lead.
Costa netted his fourth goal after the halftime break in the 51st minute to make it 6-0 before Nacho Fernandez pulled one back for Madrid in the 59th minute. Vitolo who replaced Felix in the 66th minute made it 7-1 for Atletico with his 70th minute goal. Then Karim Benzema and Javi Hernandez scored in the 85th and 89th minutes respectively to end it 7-3.
“What happened is that we entered the game very badly. A high-level competition, we entered very badly,” a disconsolate Zidane told reporters after the match.
“At eight minutes we were down 2-0. There was no response from us to change something. The first part was difficult. We never entered the game. We have lacked
everything. Especially intensity.
Zidane added: “They scored seven goals, it can’t happen. That is also known to the players, who are disappointed. You don’t have to spin it over. It’s a pre-season game.
They’ve been better at everything. There is “)nothing more to talk about.
“We are preparing a season and being calm. We have to be on August 17, with the first league game. For now, we have lacked things for sure tonight.”
Zidane is however confident that Madrid will be motivated enough to fight for laurels in the new season.
“We will be motivated. I have no doubt about that. Our season is going to be good. I am
convinced” added the Frenchman, who saw Luka Jovic leave the game in the first half with an apparent leg injury. “Today we cannot be happy. For the rest I am convinced that I have a team that will compete and very well. That’s it. We have to go back and get some rest,” he said.
“It doesn’t worry me, but it hurts. When you lose. you don’t play to lose. But that’s it, we can’t look back. It’s a bad game and you have
to think about what we’ve done.”
Madrid are billed to play two more pre-season friendlies – against Tottenham Hot Spur and Red Bull Salszburg before their first Laliga match of the new season against Celta Vigo on August 17.