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Zidane: “I don’t think we got it wrong with the team selection”

The coach analysed the Copa del Rey elimination and is now focussing on the league.

Real Madrid v Real Sociedad - Copa del Rey: Quarter Final Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid are out of the Copa del Rey and Zinedine Zidane’s message after the loss to Real Sociedad was one of encouragement, urging the players and fans to focus on the title race now. “We feel bad because we lost,” Zidane said after the match. “The second half was better than the first and we fought right to the end, but the opposition played well. We had a lot of difficulty with their press in the first half and made some errors.”

Asked how this result might affect momentum, with this loss ending a 21-match undefeated run, Zidane was optimistic. “It hurts of course, but this doesn’t change anything and we’ll continue in the same way,” he said. “Now we think about Sunday’s match [against Osasuna]. We need to think about LaLiga now. We also need to spend time recovering because we put in a lot of effort here. This doesn’t feel like the Leganés elimination two years ago. It was different today. We need to lift our heads and keep going.”

Zidane made many rotations for this game. Some of them were forced, but there were still more changes than most were expecting, yet the coach defended his choice of line-up: “I put out a team that I thought could do things well. I don’t think we got it wrong with the team selection. There was a great opponent. We’re all united here, when we win and when we lose.”

Finally, Zidane was asked about VAR, not about whether there were any incorrect decisions but about whether the repeated checks interrupted the flow of the game and the comeback attempt. “It is what it is,” he said. “The referee simply has to wait. There’s nothing that can be done about that.”

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