Zinedine Zidane was satisfied with his side’s performance as Real Madrid ran out 3-0 winners over Alaves on Sunday.
Real Madrid continued to lead La Liga ahead of Barcelona on Sunday, as they saw off a resolute Alaves 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday. The result saw Los Blancos temporarily increase their lead at the top of the table to five points before Barcelona managed to maintain pace with a 4-1 win over Granada.
Karim Benzema broke the deadlock by breaking the stubborn Alaves defence at the half-hour mark, as he converted from a sweetly struck left-footed volley to slot the ball into top corner. Isco doubled the lead in the 85th minute after an extended period of resolute Alaves defending with a fine finish from an acute angle.
The win was then rounded off in the dying stages of the match from an unlikely source as Nacho headed the ball past a Fernando Pacheco after the Alaves goalkeeper tipped Gareth Bale’s thunderous free kick onto the cross bar.
In the aftermath of the match, Zinedine Zidane appeared to be satisfied despite his side producing one of its most unflattering performances of the season. Speaking in his post-match press conference, Zidane said that he was proud of his team’s ability to conjure up a win despite not being at their best.
He said: “We were up against a side who are playing very well and have lost very few games. They’re a team who can cause you problems. We were on top in the first half, we started strongly, created chances and got the goal.
“The second half was worse because we were wasteful with the ball which was unusual. In the end, we scored three goals and conceded none, that’s hugely positive. We know we have to improve. With games every three days, you can’t always play well for 90 minutes.”
Zidane, meanwhile, also reserved special praise for Isco, who was arguably the best player for Real Madrid on Sunday, insisting that the Spaniard is key to his plans for the remainder of the season before urging him to extend his stay in the Spanish capital.
He continued: “When Isco plays, he does a fantastic job because he’s a great player. There are 24 guys here and every single one is crucial. Of course I want him to renew, because he’s a key player for Real Madrid.
“All he wants is to be here and playing. I’m thrilled with his goal and with the way he played between the lines. He put in a very complete performance.”
Real Madrid now have eight more fixtures to look forward to, in what will be a busy month that will go a long way in deciding their fortunes this season. And gritty performances like they did against Alaves will certainly help them achieve their objectives for the remainder of the season.
They are back into La Liga action almost immediately, as they travel to relegation-battling Leganes on Wednesday, when they will have the chance to maintain their lead at the top of the table.