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Zidane: “After three months out, it’s hard to play as well as Hazard did”

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Real Madrid CF v RC Celta de Vigo - La Liga Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane was disappointed that Real Madrid failed to hold on for a win against Celta Vigo, especially given that Los Blancos had come back from behind to grasp a lead. “It hurts as we put in a tremendous effort in the second half to turn it around,” the coach said in his post-match press conference. “I’m always disappointed when we drop two points at home, especially when we put in that amount of effort. We were better in the second half and played with more speed, but one moment can change things.”

Manchester City and Barcelona will be visiting the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu soon and Zidane knows there are things to work on. As he told the media: “The season is very long and we can still get better. We can get better physically and also defensively. We’re going to have matches where things might be more complicated. We’ll have to be more aware. The first might have been out mistake of ours and we weren’t well positioned. The second you might think was out mistake, but that pass from Denis Suárez was also spectacular. Celta Vigo don’t deserve to be where they are in the table.”

A stat was put to Zidane, with one journalist explaining that Real Madrid have failed to keep a clean sheet in seven of the eight matches that Marcelo has played in the league this season. “I don’t think he weakens us defensively,” Zidane responded. He was good defensively today. There may be stats, but we’re happy and I’m happy with all of my players.”

This was the first match back for Eden Hazard after 81 days and the coach analysed the Belgian’s performance. “I’m content with his return and the 70 minutes he gave us,” Zidane said. “After three months out, it’s hard to play as well as he did. He did well. So I’m happy.”

Finally, Zidane was asked if he was okay after colliding with Joseph Aidoo on the touchline during the second half. “I’m fine,” he confirmed, smiling.