Zidane wants Real Madrid finishing improvements after Nacho hits winner

By Sports Desk January 26, 2020

Zinedine Zidane called for improvements in Real Madrid's finishing after his side needed a late Nacho goal to clinch a 1-0 victory over Real Valladolid at Estadio Jose Zorrilla on Sunday.

Nacho connected with a Toni Kroos cross to head Madrid in front after 78 minutes of a tightly contested match to earn Zidane's men a win that moved them three points clear at the top of LaLiga.

Zidane praised his defence after Valladolid failed to register a shot on target but said more creativity is required to ensure struggling opponents are beaten more convincingly.

"Defensively, what we are doing, we are doing well. It is our strength," Zidane told reporters. 

"We defend all and when we lose the ball we recover it very high, and if we keep it we have a good chance of scoring.

"Nacho scored and that is part of football. We know that we can improve in this aspect.

"Nacho is a professional. When he has to compete he does well. I'm glad for his goal; he doesn't usually score them but from time-to-time we can also create chances for defenders."

Zidane refused to be drawn on his side's title chances despite opening up a gap over rivals Barcelona, who lost 2-0 to Valencia on Saturday.

Madrid have been beaten only once in the league this season but with 17 games remaining, including the visit of Barcelona on March 1, Zidane predicted a tough road ahead.

"For us, nothing changes," said Zidane. "We are happy with the victory, the work done having fought until the end, but nothing changes. There are 17 games left and we will continue fighting until the end.

"I don't want to talk about being champions because there is still a lot left to play.

"It changes nothing to be leaders, they are three important points but nothing more.

"There are a lot of league games left and it will be difficult for all teams, including us."

Madrid's next game is at home to city rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

 

Related items

  • Barcelona took my dream away from me for no reason, says Carles Perez Barcelona took my dream away from me for no reason, says Carles Perez

    Carles Perez has hit out at Barcelona for the manner of his exit and suggested his former club no longer have patience to bed in academy players.

    The 22-year-old joined Roma on an initial loan deal in January that will be made permanent at the end of the season if various clauses are triggered.

    And after marking his first start for his new side with the only goal in Thursday's 1-0 Europa League win over Gent, Perez admitted to being hurt by Barca's decision to cash in.

    "Am I in pain? Mostly, because of the way it happened," he told Mundo Deportivo "I think they didn't behave well in the end, but I'm grateful to Barcelona.

    "I'm a guy who has given everything for Barcelona since I was a kid. My dream was to make it to the first team; I achieved that and they took it away from me for no reason. 

    "And especially with the performances I was having. They talk a lot about the academy and in the end, they show the opposite.

    "Anyway, I don't view Barcelona in a bad light; I am grateful, but I don't like the way it was handled. Nothing else."

    As well as offloading Perez to Roma, Barcelona also sent fellow academy product Abel Ruiz to Braga in a deal worth a reported €8million.

    Those sales have been brought into focus following the emergency signing of Martin Braithwaite, which Perez claimed offers further evidence of Barca's priorities shifting.

    "Sometimes you make good decisions and sometimes you don't," he said. "And now they have to make a life for themselves.

    "I think about what Marc Cucurella previously said: at Barcelona, you always want to win but don't have the patience with academy products anymore."

    Perez made 14 first-team appearances for Barcelona, including five LaLiga starts this term, and has not ruled out the possibility of returning to Camp Nou one day.

    "I haven't thought about that since I left," he said. "Barcelona is the past and I am focused on Roma, although I don't know what will happen in the future."

  • Tuchel admits to being 'very surprised' by leaked party footage Tuchel admits to being 'very surprised' by leaked party footage

    Thomas Tuchel admitted he was "very surprised" by leaked footage that showed Paris Saint-Germain's players partying into the early hours of the morning this week.

    A number of PSG's first-team stars attended a lavish joint-birthday party for Edinson Cavani, Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria in Paris on Thursday.

    The extravagant bash was held two days after the French champions' 2-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

    Footage on social media showed some players, including forward Neymar, topless and bouncing around the room.

    And with a Ligue 1 clash against Bordeaux to come on Sunday, Tuchel has questioned the actions of his players.

    "I was really surprised yesterday afternoon when watching the video," he said at Saturday's pre-match news conference. 

    "You can be sure that we talked internally. I don't want to talk about it now, but we talked about it within the club and it has to stay that way."

    He added: "You can be sure that we are not happy with this image. We talked together as a team and it is now an internal matter.

    "I am here to improve my group. I cannot give advice to the club, that is not my role."

    Marquinhos was in attendance at the exclusive Pavillon Dauphine and defended the decision to throw the triple birthday party.

    "The leaked footage was a mistake," he told reporters. "However, it had been planned for a long time. We needed to get together. 

    "We must be careful, though, as there are people who travel miles to follow us.

    "There has been frustration at the result and poor performance [against Dortmund]. We know our strengths, especially at home.We must work hard and with a good mentality."

    Neymar suggested after the loss to Dortmund that he has been unhappy with PSG's management of his rib injury, insisting he was ready to return to action earlier.

    However, Tuchel has reiterated that he cannot risk the Brazil international's fitness at a key point in the season.

    "As I said before, it was a discussion between the club, medical staff and myself. With each injury we have to make many decisions, that's the way it is," he said.

    "Imagine if we let him play, the injury got worse and he was out for three months. You would have asked the same questions, whether it was a mistake to play him.

    "We have to think about why we are making these decisions and you have to trust me. We have talked a lot and it is the same with every player.

    "Obviously I want him to play every game and we have to make decisions together. This is the decision we made between us. Now he needs to regain his rhythm."

    Tuchel also confirmed Thomas Meunier and Colin Dagba are out of Sunday's clash with Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes, where he is hoping for a quick response from his side.

    "It is never easy to start again after a defeat, but that is the challenge," he said. "I have the impression that all the players want to prove themselves.

    "Sometimes the players are more competitive when things aren't comfortable. That is exactly the mindset we are looking for."

  • A-League Review: Jets held by Victory on Robinson's home bow A-League Review: Jets held by Victory on Robinson's home bow

    New Newcastle Jets head coach Carl Robinson was denied a first home win despite a dominant first half against Melbourne Victory on Saturday.

    Former Vancouver Whitecaps boss Robinson was appointed prior to a home success against Central Coast Mariners earlier this month but watched that match from the stands.

    The Jets subsequently drew 1-1 at Western Sydney Wanderers and were then held by the same scoreline by the Victory.

    Newcastle twice had early Abdiel Arroyo goals ruled out, the first after referee Alireza Faghani inadvertently deflected a cross into the striker's path.

    But Melbourne's luck ran out when Roy O'Donovan blasted Dimitrios Petratos' cutback against the crossbar and, after a short delay, the VAR ruled the ball had bounced over the line.

    However, half-time killed the Jets' momentum, and visiting captain Ola Toivonen headed an equaliser four minutes after the restart to claim a share of the spoils.

    It was also 1-1 between Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory in Saturday's earlier game.

    Perth climbed to second with a point but were denied all three by former Newcastle United defender Macaulay Gillesphey, who cancelled out Bruno Fornaroli's first-half opener five minutes from time.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.