The Liga champions beat Barcelona 2-1 in the Clasico but their manager is concerned about his players’ fitness
Zinedine Zidane was delighted with Real Madrid’s win over Barcelona, but says he will have to patch up his squad for the clash with Liverpool as they are “physically at the limit.”
After assuming control of the Clasico thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos, Real had to dig in to repel a fightback from Barca to hold on for a 2-1 win.
The Liga champions can now turn their attentions to the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Liverpool on Wednesdsay.
What has been said?
Securing the win that lifted Madrid to the top of the league thrilled their manager, but Zidane said there are some weary bodies in the dressing room.
“There are players with pain again,” Zidane said. “I don’t know how we are going to end the season but we are going to need everyone because we are physically at the limit. It’s hard for us to finish the games. But we are here and we are alive.
“We are going to rest well and we are going to see how to do it, how to rest better, and then prepare for Wednesday’s game.”
Madrid went into the clash without first-choice defensive pair Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane and lost Lucas Vazquez to injury prior to half-time – while Casemiro will also sit out their next Liga fixture after earning a red card.
Clasico delight for Zidane
The weather was not good in Madrid, with the game played in monsoon-like conditions, but it did not dampen Zidane’s mood.
“Nothing’s going to change,” Zidane said. “A lot is still ahead. But you have to enjoy today and the next day what we did, because it was two very hard-fought games. We got two good results.”
Zidane brushes off penalty controversy
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman felt his side should have been awarded a penalty for a foul on Martin Braithwaite , but Zidane had no view on it and was not concerned by what the Catalans perceived as a lack of injury time added on.
“If the referee has not whistled, it is because there is no penalty,” he said. “The extra time can be three, four, five or six minutes… He decides. The most important thing for us is what we did in the field.
“We can be happy, it cannot be said that it was only because of the referee.”