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Zidane praises Vinicius Jr. after win against Espanyol

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The promising winger was back in the starting lineup and completed an encouraging performance.

Real Madrid CF v RCD Espanyol - La Liga Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane talked to the press after the team’s 2-0 win against Espanyol this Saturday and praised Vinicius Jr., who had not been playing lately yet managed to complete a very solid performance in his return to the starting lineup.

“The main thing is that the player wants to score goals, work hard and you’ve got to look at what he did, he did very well. He performed very well in attack and in defense, as they all did. What’s more, after having played less of late, it was his turn today and he did pretty well. He always has to work hard and he did that. Goals come with confidence, the important thing is to score one and get on the goals trail. But I look at the whole picture and after having not featured much he did well and that’s important to me,” said Zidane.

The match against Espanyol was expected to be an easy one but the visiting side still provided a challenge. Zidane was happy with the win.

“It was a tough game, the opposition had something about them and showed that. They don’t deserve to be where they are in the league and we lacked a bit of fluidity in our play, particularly after the break, when it became an end-to-end affair and that didn’t suit us. We ultimately got a good result and that’s very important for us. It’s three extremely important points and we just have to continue on in the same vein,” explained the coach.

Fede Valverde started in the midfield once again and it looks like he has become an undisputed starter for Zidane, with Luka Modric being the player asked to come off the bench.

“Valverde has carved out a place for himself here for many years, he’s showing what he can do. He’s an important player, as they all are. He’s very young and things come easily to him both with and without the ball, he does a great job whenever he plays. There are a lot of players here right now. In the middle, for instance, Isco didn’t play today, but I like all the players to be ready because we’ve got so many games and I want them all to be on it. That was the case today, everyone put in a good performance when given the chance. It’s a long-run thing. We’re going to have so many games and we have to perform every three days,” said the Frenchman.

Casemiro featured in the starting lineup and still is one yellow card away from missing El Clasico, with Real Madrid visiting Valencia next Sunday.

“He has to hold on again. Until when, I don’t know. Anyway, he has four cards, we can’t change that. We’ll take a look at the upcoming games. You asked me beforehand what we’re going to do about the full-backs as well but for now, the most important thing is to enjoy today’s performance. We are pleased with how we played and now we’ll have to see what happens next week,” concluded Zidane.