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Zidane: “I think the decisions the referee took were fair”

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The coach reflected on Real Madrid’s first win of the season. 

Real Betis v Real Madrid - LaLiga Santander Photo by Ricardo Nogueira/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid have won their first match of the 2020/21 season, coming from behind to defeat Real Betis away from home. VAR was certainly involved in the second half as Emerson was sent off for the Andalusian side for a last man challenge and as a penalty was awarded for a Marc Bartra handball, which Sergio Ramos converted for the 3-2 win.

After the match, Zinedine Zidane had his post-match press conference and the refereeing interventions came up. On that, the coach said: “There’s a referee and he looks at things, so I think that what happened was fair. He is in charge and I never get involved with refereeing controversies, so I’m not going to start today. What’s important is the way we played today, where we gave our all at a difficult stadium and against a team that came into this match with two wins from two. We’re happy and satisfied with the work we did today. We suffered and we collected three important points.”

Zidane changed tactics for this match, parking the 4-2-3-1 from last weekend to go for a 4-4-2 with both Karim Benzema and Luka Jović up top. On that, Zidane said: “I looked to play with a different formation in this different game. We can play in various systems and this scheme, with two centre-forwards, is one of them. We can be happy with this match and with the three points.”

He also had words of praise for Thibaut Courtois, who made some important interventions in this game after also being so decisive last season. Praising the goalkeeper, Zidane said: “He was important, like he often has been recently. He also made a clear save against Real Sociedad last week. We know what he can do, not just in shot stopping but also with the ball at his feet. I’m happy with his performance and with how things went for the whole team.”