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Zidane: “Atlético were better in the first half, we were better in the second”

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Believes a draw was a fair result. 

Atletico de Madrid v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane spoke after Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw away at Atlético Madrid and explained that he was pleased with way his team improved in the second half. The coach did admit, though, that his side struggled at the start.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Zidane said: “I think they were better in the first half and we were better in the second half, so [the draw] is deserved. We had chances and could have taken more, but well… The important thing was to improve in the second half and we did that. We’ve taken a point and we’re still alive in the league.”

Most of the questions in the post-match press conference were about the possible Felipe handball penalty, but Zidane didn’t want to get into that controversy. He replied: “I’m not getting involved in that. It’s a tough job. He went to see the piece of play and then made his decision. We have to respect that decision. We know it’s difficult. We know the criteria, but then it’s the referee’s responsibility. If he calls a penalty then it’s a penalty. If he doesn’t then it’s not a penalty. We try to stay focused on the match and that’s what we did.”

Asked about some of the players left out of his starting XI, Zidane explained that he can’t use everyone. He said: “Everyone deserves to play. But, I always have to pick just 11 and then there’s changes. I’m very proud of all my players. We’re going to fight until the end.”