Real Madrid lost further ground in La Liga on Wednesday after taking an early lead through Isco but had to come back from behind in the latter stages of game courtesy of a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo. The game was marred by a Gareth Bale red card but Madrid has strength in-depth to be able to turn things around.

Zinedine Zidane is under intense pressure as FC Barcelona has taken the lead at the top of the log with his team’s outstanding match against Celta Vigo the only hope for the club. Even if Real Madrid wins against Celta Vigo, the team would climb to first position with 59 points with a two point lead against FC Barcelona as they currently lead with 57 points.

So surprising is the fact that a few months back Real Madrid had a great chance of extending the lead to 10 points. Zinedine Zidane as a manager is not known for his tinkering approach but he has started rotating his squad for different match days.

Zidane was adored for his consistent starting eleven

At the end of January 2016 when Rafael Benitez was sacked and Zidane appointed as Coach for the end of the season he made bold decisions that turned the clubs fortunes around. Zidane had a started eleven in the names of Keylor Navas; Daniel Carvayal, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Casemiro, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos; Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.

Things have changed as many players feel unsettled at the club and the manager wants to give every footballer the chance to showcase their talents and add value to the team. Two departments of the team’s setup have seen a lot of changes this season. All the midfielders and attackers in the squad have had their fair share of playing time and this has yielded some great results. The rotation has also seen some unconvincing performances along the way.

Real Madrid needs James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez has not had the best of game time under Zinedine Zidane. After Gareth Bale’s red card for indecency on Wednesday, James must feature for the three games Bale is going to miss. Under Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid only used defensive tactics against so-called big teams. Along his tenure he played James Rodriguez, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos converting Kroos to an Andrea Pirlo-like defensive midfielder who dictates the pace of the game.

The result of this was seen in the teams wins against mid-table and low ranked teams.

FC Barcelona has come to the utmost realization that the UEFA Champions league might be out of reach but still have a chance of winning the double therefore would push Real Madrid all the way. If Zinedine Zidane does not find a consistent starting eleven and goes into every match day with a rotated squad then Real Madrid’s luck of a league title would run into a fifth year.

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