Real Madrid’s three tough upcoming fixtures, which will see them face Liverpool either side of a decisive El Clasico, forced Zinedine Zidane to rotate his XI against Eibar on Saturday.
The coach’s plan B has given him a lot of trouble so far this season, to the point that Zidane decided to stop making changes to his team and to instead put all of his trust in his usual XI.
But Zidane appears to have a plan B again. On Saturday, he put his faith in Marcelo, Isco, Eder Militao and Marco Asensio from the start, and they repaid that trust. Some of them, shockingly, even put in a performance that will have them contending for a starting place against Liverpool on Tuesday.
Marcelo was back in the line-up after 53 days’ absence, and his performance was probably the most notable. He hadn’t played well when given a chance this season, but he shone on Saturday and played in a more advanced position.
Asensio was another who did very well. After a few weeks of being on the bench, he was back in from the off and even got himself on the scoresheet, which Real Madrid have been wanting him to do more regularly all season.
Isco, as well, played very well from the start. He gave the team something they hadn’t had before, and he linked up nicely with both Casemiro and Luka Modric.
Militao was the fourth novelty in the team, and he quashed some of the concerns behind him, putting in a calm and assured performance, helping Los Blancos to a clean sheet.