Zidane defends under-fire Benzema

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane insists “you can’t criticise a player for missing chances” after Karim Benzema’s wasteful display against Valencia.

Benzema squandered several good openings, even hitting the bar twice, as Madrid could only draw 2-2 with Valencia on Sunday night, but Zidane made it clear his faith in the striker remained unwavering.

“With the result, we can’t be happy because we played excellently,” the Coach said after the game.

“We deserved more, but you can’t always win. I’m very proud of my players and that’s the most important thing.

“We only lacked one goal. We had seven or eight clear chances and we didn’t score. That was the match, but we must continue and think about the next one.

“Benzema? The fans can do what they want. The important thing is that he gets chances, if he misses, nothing happens.

“Football’s like that and sometimes the ball doesn’t want to go in. The fans supported us and they did whatever they wanted.

“How I’ll receive Benzema? With a smile, you have to tell him to keep working. The hardest thing is to get chances.

“He didn’t score but worked very hard, and you can’t criticise a player who misses chances.

“Asensio? I’m happy with his performance and I’m not surprised with what he did. He scored two goals, but the work was by the whole team.

“I’d like to emphasise that, I hope it stays that way and that he scores more goals.

“Bale? He’s an important player, that's all, Gareth is Gareth and we’re counting on him like everyone else.”

Tags Zinedine Zidane