Zinedine Zidane praises his Real Madrid side for ‘much deserved win’ in El Clasico… but admits they are running on empty after beating Barcelona and Liverpool in the same week with an Anfield trip to come
- Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid side beat Liverpool and Barcelona this week
- However, the Frenchman admitted his club stars are now running on empty
- Ronald Koeman believes two refereeing decisions cost his side in El Clasico
- He said Ferland Mendy brushing the arm of Martin Braithwaite was a penalty
Zinedine Zidane saluted his players after they pulled off the Liverpool-Barcelona double but admitted his team are now running close to empty.
‘We have picked up two big results but we have to keep going,’ said the Real Madrid coach after a 2-1 win that saw them go top.
‘I don’t know how we are going to end the season because physically we are at our limit. We are struggling to finish games but we are still there [in the league and Champions League] but we are at our limit.’
Zinedine Zidane saluted his players after they pulled off the Liverpool-Barcelona double
However, the Frenchman admitted his Real Madrid stars are close to running on empty
Despite concerns about his players lasting the season Zidane finished the game a happy man.
‘We made chances to get the third but in the end this was a much deserved win,’ he said.
And speaking about Karim Benzema’s brilliant opening goal he said: ‘That’s the quality he has. And I’m pleased for him. I’m just happy for the players they are a group that stays together.’
Ronald Koeman spoke before Zidane and walked away from his post-match interview furious at two refereeing decisions he believed had cost Barcelona the Clasico.
Zidane also reserved praise for Karim Benzema after he scored a brilliant opener in El Clasico
Ronald Koeman was furious at two refereeing decisions he believed had cost Barcelona
Ferland Mendy certainly brushed the arm of Martin Braithwaite deep into the second half but the Danish forward appeared to already be hurtling off the pitch and the contact was minimal.
Koeman did not see it that way. ‘It’s a clear penalty,’ he told the Movistar pitchside interviewer. He then asked the reporter what he thought and when he was told that the referee and VAR had seen the incident and made their decision Koeman made his exit.
Later in his press conference when it was put to him that Real Madrid had been given a penalty for minimum contact in the area earlier in the season Koeman said: ‘I had better not speak anymore on that issue. I have said what I wanted to say.’
Koeman said Ferland Mendy’s brushing of the arm of Martin Braithwaite was a clear penalty
Barcelona perhaps had far more justified complaints about the time added on. Referee Jesus Gil Manzano only added four minutes despite seeming to eat up at least two minutes when he had to change his waterlogged communications equipment late in the game.
Koeman said: ‘It was not right to only add four minutes when the referee had spent at least two changing [his equipment].’ The Barça coach was also critical of his own team saying: ‘ We were not good in the first half, neither in defence nor attack.’
When Zidane was asked about the refereeing ecisions he added: ‘If the referee doesn’t give the penalty it’s because he thinks it’s not a penalty. And the time added on, again, it’s the referee who decides.’
Barcelona perhaps had far more justified complaints about the time added on