La Liga week 23
Real Madrid wins derby against Atletico Madrid, 1-0 thanks to the 13th goal from Karim Benzema this season. The Whites lead LaLiga with a six-point margin over FC Barcelona with one game in hands. A victory is the fourth consecutive for Zidane’s men as they put pressure on their rivals.
Coach Zidane made a few changes at the break to give his team a chance to beat Atletico. The Changes paid off when Benzema scored at the 56th minute. The Frenchman is one goal behind leader Lionel Messi with 14 goals in the league this season.
Zidane on the half-time substitiutions:
“I wasn’t happy with what I was seeing on the pitch, but that’s not the players’ responsibility, it’s mine. I didn’t like how it was going and ultimately I brought off Isco and Kroos, but it could have been any two. We had to change something”, added Zidane.
“We did it at half-time, and we started to open the pitch up more, press high, we were better all round. I take responsibility for the first half”.
“We’re all here to do the same thing. The changes altered the game but I don’t like to take off two players at the break. But I had to do something, we did it and that’s that. In the second half, we changed our attitude, upped the intensity in everything we did, it’s down to everyone. I’m thrilled for the players. Atlético played very well in the first half, and we did so in the second. It’s well deserved, the win and three points”.
On the tough derby win:
“We know the derby is always special and very tough”, the coach said. We struggled, but that’s to be expected against a side that defends very well in every respect. They’re very comfortable defensively, but they’re more than that, they played some great stuff in the first half, but ultimately we’ve taken another three points. We’re happy with the three points, but they’re worth no more than in any other game”.