Real Madrid’s first home match of the season didn’t go the way Zinedine Zidane would have liked, with his side conceding late on to draw 1-1 with Real Valladolid. The Frenchman was especially critical of his side’s second-half performance, while he drew positives from the opening 45 minutes.
“We leave with a bad taste in our mouth, after managing to score in the second half which wasn’t even our best half,” he said in his post-match press conference. “But then a few minutes later they equalised. I think we deserved more, I think we deserved the three points. Our first half was very good and we had chances, but we lacked a goal. We have to play for the full 90 minutes. You can’t play for just 50 or 60 minutes. I’m going to insist on that.”
Zidane even admitted he’d have liked his players to have thumped the ball away when Real Valladolid were pushing for their equaliser. “The problem wasn’t that we lost the ball, as that can happen, but that we were out of position,” the coach said. “We should have sent the ball out. In the 85th minute, we have to be practical.”
The big news of the day was the fact that James Rodríguez was back in a Real Madrid line-up and Zidane was asked what he thought of the Colombian’s performance, while adding that his 57th minute substitution was a physical issue. “His performance was good,” Zidane said of James. “I spoke to him when he came off because he had a slight knock. Whenever a player has a pain we prefer not to risk it.
Another specific player Zidane was asked about was Vinicius and his response was a little strange. “He was substituted on…,” Zidane said, struggling for words. “The second half was the worse half for us,” he added.
Finally, Zidane called for the supporters to back the team going forward. “They have to help us,” he urged. “I know it’s complicated, but there’s no other way. We need our fans right now with the team. We also have to do our part.”