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Zidane: “Everyone is doing well, I could highlight Militão, Marcelo, Isco…”

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Happy with the performances of the backups.

Real Madrid v SD Eibar - La Liga Santander Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

A rotated Real Madrid side overcame Eibar 2-0 on Saturday afternoon and Zinedine Zidane was full of praise for those who came in and started after having been backups for most of the season. Asked about Marco Asensio’s excellent performance in the post-match press conference, Zidane took the opportunity to single out other players for praise as well.

When he was asked about the winger, Zidane replied: “Asensio has been working hard every day. Nothing has really changed with him. I’m happy for him. It’s important to score goals for confidence. I think he’s doing well, just like the entire team is doing well. It’s not just Marco. You’ve mentioned Marco, but I could also highlight Militão, Marcelo, Isco and all the players.”

On the performance, Zidane continued: “We played very well today. We started well and had a very serious approach. Now, we need to recover well and think about the next match. But, we’re not prioritising one competition over the other. We’re alive in both. We know where we’ve come from, having suffered a lot this season, so we need to enjoy this moment while recognising that we’ve not achieved anything yet. We’re playing well and staying alive in both competitions, while defending well. It was another clean sheet today.”

The coach was asked about the tactics and the latest use of a three-at-the-back system. On that, the Frenchman replied: “We started with the three at the back, with Mendy, Nacho and Militão and with Marcelo and Lucas Vazquéz as wing-backs. But, things can change when we have the ball. When we’re defending then everyone has their position, but then we know that everybody can bring something to the team in many different positions.”

Marcelo did well in a wing-back role and this was another press conference talking point. Zidane said: “Marcelo played really well, phenomenally, especially considering he hasn’t played much recently. With the ball, he can come inside, go outside and go high. He played well and we’re content with the performance.”

Finally, Zidane was asked to provide a quick injury update ahead of the Liverpool game. He said: “I hope Fede Valverde and Hazard can return, but we’ll see how they are tomorrow and the next day.”