Sports

Zinedine Zidane reacts to Real Madrid’s loss to Barcelona

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Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane has criticised his team’s wasteful attitude after they were beaten 3-2 at home by Barcelona in Sunday’s dramatic Clasico.

The loss saw the Catalans take over top spot in La Liga, although Madrid do have an extra game left to play.

Lionel Messi fired home in the 93rd-minute to settle the game after James Rodriguez appeared to have gained a draw for the 10-man home side, who had Sergio Ramos sent off.

Real Madrid had 22 shots on goal with 14 on target but Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Marco Asensio and Luka Modric were all denied by Barca goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen.

“We had chances to kill the game ourselves, many chances to score goals.

“That is where we are disappointed, with our [missed] opportunities. We have had many chances in many games, and not taken them.

“In the end you are punished against a team who knows how to play and can do you damage. And they did. But I have nothing to reproach my players.”

The French gaffer further admitted that his players had been rash not to sit back and defend with the score 2-2 and time almost up, but would not criticise their ambition directly.

“We thought we could score a third goal,” he added.

“It is not that we lacked intelligence. Equalising, with 10, and then going to press very high, is dangerous, and we paid for that. But I will not reproach the players. We always go for the game.

“We are disappointed as we did not deserve to lose, but football is like that.”

On throwing the title race open, he said, “Nothing changes now,” Zidane said.

“Maybe after today there will be more Liga. But we still depend on ourselves.

“Today was not about deciding La Liga, winning, losing, drawing, nothing was going to change. Although of course it would have been better to get the three points.

“We will keep going and think already about Wednesday’s game (at Deportivo La Coruna). This will not change what we are doing. We will be positive until the end.”

Zidane turned down the chance to criticise Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez for sending off captain Sergio Ramos, after a local reporter had suggested the referee had succumbed to pressure from Barca defender Gerard Pique to flash red.

He added, “I don’t want to know anything about that. “The referee decided to show a red to Sergio, we must accept that.”

On Wales international, Gareth Bale the former no. 10 added, “[Bale] said he was feeling good; excited about playing.

“I am not sorry about anything. I am disappointed for him. He wanted to play, felt well, started well, but then we cannot control that.

“We will see what injury he has exactly, do tests tomorrow, and I hope it is not too bad for him.”

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