'He's not tired' - Zidane defends Benzema after poor performance in Real Madrid win03-Jan-2021, 08:26 am
Zinedine Zidane has no plans to rest Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema as he vowed slowly ease Eden Hazard back to full match fitness.
The 33-year-old has started 15 of Madrid's 17 La Liga matches this season and only goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Raphael Varane have played more minutes.
When asked in a post-match media conference if Benzema, who has scored eightgoals in La Liga, needed a break, following a slightly jaded showing,Zidane disagreed.
"I don’t think he’s tired," Zidane said. "I think he did well and I took him off so that another player could play. We’re in a great spell. We’re doing the right things and we have to continue like this."
Hazard came off the bench for another run out late in the second half against Celta as he stepped up his return from an injury-hit start to the season.
"We are going to go little by little," added Zidane. "Little by little, you have to recover feelings.
"We have to take it slowly and not force anything. He has to get back to his best and take it slowly. That’s all it is."
Madrid's possession against Celta was 41 per cent which was the lowest recorded in a win under Zidaneat home in all competitions.
The Madrid head coach was, however,satisfied with the manner in which his side were able to managethe game against Celta.
"We played a complete game from the beginning to the end," Zidane explained.
"We controlled the game well, we had a good balance, when it came to pressing up and getting the ball back, we did everything well.
"You have to control when the rival team has strong moments in the game, but the feelings are good, out of nine games we won six and three draws."
Goals from Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio gave Madrid the victory as the pair assisted each other in what was the fourth duo to combine between them in a single La Liga game this season.
Zidane added: "I am happy for Asensio. He has had a major injury and now he is much better and improving every time.
Source : goal.com
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