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Football Reporting


Zidane urges patience with Hazard as Real Madrid crash out of Supercopa with Athletic Club defeat

The Belgium international has managed just two goals this season and was unable to provide a spark as his side were beaten in the semi-final

Zinedine Zidane says Real Madrid must be patient with Eden Hazard after he struggled to make an impact in the 2-1 defeat to Athletic Club in the Supercopa de Espana semi-final on Thursday.

Two first-half goals from Raul Garcia was enough to send the Basque side into the final despite Karim Benzema’s strike 73 minutes into the clash in Malaga.

Hazard managed one shot on target in the match before he was taken off midway through the second half and replaced by 20-year-old winger Vinicius Junior.

The Belgium international has struggled with injury since his move to the Spanish capital and has scored just two goals in 10 appearances in all competitions this term, with his last strike coming in the 2-0 win against Inter in the Champions League in November.

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But Zidane says the 30-year-old needs time to get back to his best and dismissed suggestions Madrid fans are getting frustrated by the former Chelsea star.

“You have to be patient, what you need is to score a goal. You have to be patient. The team has tried. You have to turn the page and keep working. We can’t go crazy now,” he told reporters after the game.

“I don’t think people are tired of him. You have to be patient with him. He wants to get this out. Today it wasn’t just Eden. We started the game badly, but he did well in the second half.”

He continued: “Our first half was difficult, we did not start the game well. It is what they had, two occasions and two goals. It has been complicated. When you are 0-2 it is always difficult. Then we had a better second half, we created chances, we hit the post, scored a goal.

“We didn’t read the first half well. They pressed well and we lost possession. You have to keep working, try to rest well and think about the next game. We tried in the second half.

“What we are going to do is keep working, there is no other option. Now, to rest well and think about the next game.”

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