Footy Times

Zidane suffers first defeat in Real return

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Valencia outclassed Real Madrid to inflict their ninth domestic defeat of the season in the second match since Zinedine Zidane returned as head coach.

The reigning European champions have now lost as many league matches in this season as in their previous two campaigns combined.

The hosts took the lead in the first half when Goncalo Guedes side-footed in a finish before Ezequiel Garay headed in the second to double the lead.

In-form French striker Karim Benzema pulled a goal back in injury-time for Real, but it was too late for an impossible comeback and claiming a point to close the gap with second placed city rivals Atletico Madrid.

With eight games remaining, Real are in third place, 5 points behind Atletico and13 points behind leaders Barcelona who played a thrilling 4-4 draw against Villarreal on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Valencia move up to fifth place, just one point behind Getafe in fourth.

Zidane who replaced interim boss Solari was disappointed with the result but he opined it was an even game against a top team.

We started the game strongly with good possession, pressing high up. We just needed to get that first goal. I can’t blame the players for anything, they really tried hard. We played against a top team and it was an even game. It’s a defeat and defeat always hurts”.

“We struggled to create chances, get shots off and come up with anything in the final third. We needed a little bit more near the opposition goal. The team fought to the end. It’s a tough spell, a defeat, but we have to accept it and think about the eight games we have left. We have to focus on doing a better job on Saturday”.

In the next game Los Blancos will host mid table side Eibar on Saturday.

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