Apr 08, 2016

    We were flat in the first half: Zidane


    ZINEDINE Zidane admitted Real Madrid suffered a Clasico hangover as they crashed to a 2-0 Champions League quarter-final, first-leg defeat at Wolfsburg on Wednesday.

    Just five days after ending Barcelona's 39-game unbeaten run with a 2-1 away win, Real were humbled as Wolfsburg ignored their struggling mid-table form in Germany's top flight.

    Real never recovered as first-half goals from Swiss defender Ricardo Rodriguez and Maximilian Arnold put the hosts 2-0 up at the Volkswagen Arena with 25 minutes gone.

    Wolfsburg now have the upper hand ahead of Tuesday's return leg at the Bernabeu.

    "I'm not happy, above all with the first half.

    "This can happen if you don't play with intensity from the start," said coach Zidane, who made just one change from the team who beat Barca.

    "We wanted to play here just like we did on Saturday, it was an intensive game for us (in Barcelona) and we were flat in the first half here.

    "We didn't expect the 2-0 defeat and we need to analyse where we went wrong and make corrections."

    Zidane even said he was proud of his players and took full responsibility for the result.

    "I have to find the reasons for the defeat and the solutions," he added.

    Real's six-game winning streak was ended as Wolfsburg picked up their first win in four games since beating Gent in the last 16 of the tournament.

    Real's Gareth Bale was left frustrated at not being awarded a first-half penalty after a heavy challenge in the area from Luiz Gustavo.

    "I felt I got to the ball first and he hit me, so it is obviously frustrating, but we have another game," said the Welshman.

    Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking gambled by starting inexperienced Brazilian Bruno Henrique on the right wing, who set up Arnold's goal on 25 minutes as Wolfsburg capitalised on some woeful Real defending.

    "When Madrid leave the door open, you have to take the chance to go through it," said Hecking.

    Defender Pepe said Real had been badly punished for leaking both goals in the opening 25 minutes.

    "We have to come back, we had 20 bad minutes they took advantage of," said the centre-back.

    "The tie is not over yet, we have another game at home with the fans on our side." AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE