Zidane Lauds Al Jazira for Making Real Madrid Suffer

Zidane Lauds Al Jazira for Making Real Madrid Suffer
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Published December 14th, 2017 - 14:09 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Says search for new strikers not necessary despite failure to net several chances
Says search for new strikers not necessary despite failure to net several chances
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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane congratulated Al Jazira for making his side suffer in Los Blancos’ 2-1 win in the semi-final of the Fifa Club World Cup at Zayed Sports City on Wednesday.

Al Jazira keeper Ali Khaseif had staved off an onslaught during which Real had two goals disallowed from Karim Benzema and Casemiro before Romarinho put the hosts in front just ahead of half-time.

Mbark Boussoufa then appeared to net another for the Abu Dhabi side just after the break, but it was also ruled out. Khaseif later went off injured and Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale pulled it back from the brink for Real, who had survived a scare.

“In football, there is always a rival and they can score and counter and they did it well, and they were well prepared with seven, 31 and 10 playing very well,” he said in reference to Al Jazira’s Ali Mabkhout, Romarinho and Mbark Boussoufa.

“The first half was very strange in the sense that we had so many opportunities but didn’t score, but the good thing is in football there is another half to continue.

“I told them to take it easy, you’ll get your chance and when you do take it and that’s what we have done.

“We deserve this victory despite a lot of suffering. You don’t win things easy and we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy match. They were fighting for their life, and we have to congratulate Al Jazira for having a great game.”

Man of the Match Luka Modric also had kind words for the UAE club. “They did really well, sat deep and tried to punish us on the counter and they did that. I think they played well, defended well, and overall they are a good team.”

Real Madrid now play Brazil’s Gremio in Saturday’s final at the same venue from 9pm.

“We saw their match yesterday,” Zidane said of Gremio’s 1-0 semi-final win over Mexico’s Pachuca on Tuesday at Al Ain’s Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium. “We don’t know the Brazilian league very well but Gremio are a good team and we will have to reach a high level to be very competition because this will be a very difficult match. No game is easy as we’ve seen today and even more so against a Brazilian team who have reached a final.”

Asked if he would need to go out and buy a striker in the January transfer window with Benzema in particular being picked out for his erring aim, Zidane replied: “No, not at all. Karim is OK. He didn’t score but he is doing fine. Some people think a striker has to always score but Karim had a good match, moved and created a lot, but the ball just didn’t want to go in.

“I’m a little disappointed for him because, as always, he really wanted to score. But we have to continue, recover and I hope Saturday will be a happy match for all of them.

“I’ve not many explanations for what happened. I can only say we deserve our win to go to the final.”

By Ashley Hammond

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