Zidane hopeful of Benzema green light

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is “hopeful” Karim Benzema will be available for Manchester City after his substitution against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

Benzema was hauled off in the latter stages of first half at Vallecas, where Madrid came back from behind to win 3-2, and Zidane was unable to give any updates on the striker’s condition in light of the Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday.

“It was a hotly-contested and very difficult game,” the Coach said after the match.

“We encountered difficulty in the first 15 minutes, yet we started badly and ended well.

“Matches last 90 minutes, and I’ll take the positives. You can’t always win easily.

“It’s not easy to come back from 2-0 down at [Vallecas], against a team like this, it’s hard. All the players did a great job.

“We showed that we were strong. We had the patience to make a difference and then placed faith in our quality.

“Players must be patient when things aren’t made right at the start.

“We’ll evaluate [Benzema], but he didn’t take a blow. I thought he did, but for now we’ll go back to Valdebebas and see what he has.

“I hope it’s nothing and that he can play on Tuesday, but we don’t know yet.

“I think the pressure was one of the keys [to the victory]. In the first half, we didn’t have togetherness, but we played better at the end of the first half and in the second half.

“I’m very happy with Bale because he made ​​the difference. We needed him [on Saturday].

“He played very well, aside from his goals, and I’m happy for him because he lacked some minutes. It’s very important to us that Bale is fine.

“[Cristiano Ronaldo] is fit and will travel to Manchester.

“[Isco] had a great game. It was tough for him at first, as it was for everyone, but then he got into the game.

“We know Isco has quality, and in the second half he did very well. Overall, he had a great game.

“We knew before coming to Vallecas that it’d be very difficult. Now have to think about a different game, and on Tuesday we have another battle.

“We know [Manchester] City will be very difficult and we have to prepare well.”

Tags Karim Benzema Zinedine Zidane