Zinedine Zidane: “We have to continue fighting as we are”

Real Madrid have gone from the midst of crisis to being genuine title contenders.

On Wednesday evening they beat a strong Granada side 2-0 at Valdebebas to secure their fifth straight league victory and their sixth on the bounce in all competitions.

Casemiro opened the scoring for the hosts before Karim Benzema doubled their advantage late on, drawing Madrid level on points with league leaders and city rivals Atletico Madrid. Los Blancos have, however, played two games more.

Granada were seventh coming into the game and put up quite a fight having been on a five-game unbeaten run themselves.

“It was a difficult game,” Zinedine Zidane said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “It was a complicated game. They came to press the ball.

“The first half was complicated but the second was much better. I’m happy for them because these games aren’t easy. We deserved the victory thanks to the second half we played.”

“We were much better in the second half, pressing and recovering balls, winning more duels. They complicated our lives in the first half. We won against a good team that came in off the back of a good run of results.”

 

Eden Hazard‘s return to the matchday squad made headlines pre-game, but Zidane didn’t view him as fit enough to make his return on the pitch after a month out through injury.

“I didn’t consider it appropriate for him to play,” he said. “It was a difficult game and I didn’t want to risk it with Eden. He’s fine, but we want to take it little by little.”

Zidane was clear in his post-match message to his players. He was happy with their work and keen for them to go and rest over Christmas, but also eager to ensure they knew the hard work must continue upon their return.

“We have to continue fighting as we are,” he said. “Now, I’m going to ask the players to rest and go be with their families, but when they return they have to work hard.”

Tags Granada La Liga Real Madrid Zinedine Zidane