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Draw Glosses Over Defensive Shambles for Madrid

Mesut Ozil rescued a point for Real Madrid against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, a 2-2 result that left the reigning La Liga champion in second-place in Group D of the UEFA Champions League with seven points from four games.

However, the fact that Los Blancos put in a much-improved performance in the second half after losing the first, 2-1, and possibly deserved all three points for the quality of their chances, only serves to gloss over the bigger problem plaguing Jose Mourinho’s men, says ESPN’s Nicholas Rigg: defense.

We all know that Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao are injured and that the left side has been a concern. And so it proved to be a big problem on Tuesday, with Alvaro Arbeloa badly at fault for Marco Reus’ opener. But there were problems in the center, too, Rigg says, as Pepe and Raphael Varane looked clumsy together on more than a couple of occasions. Meanwhile, out on the right, Sergio Ramos was caught way out of position for Dortmund’s second.

Indeed, Real’s defense “was pretty much one big mess whenever Dortmund pushed forward,” Rigg says, and with seven goals conceded in just four matches, its Champions League defensive record is hardly the stuff of champions, to say the least. 

Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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