‘ Live with be­ing subbed’

> Zi­dane’s ad­vice to an off-form and sulk­ing Ron­aldo re­placed in the sec­ond half

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

REAL MADRID coach Zine­dine Zi­dane in­sisted Cris­tiano Ron­aldo has to learn to live with be­ing sub­sti­tuted af­ter sulk­ing off the field vis­i­bly frus­trated in the Euro­pean cham­pi­ons’ 2-2 draw at Las Pal­mas.

Zi­dane re­placed the three-time World Player of the Year with Madrid lead­ing 21 18 min­utes from time, but an un­happy Ron­aldo watched from the bench as Ser­gio Araujo equalised to en­sure Real dropped points for the sec­ond time in four days.

“I have to take him off some­times and tonight we did it,” said Zi­dane.

“That isn’t go­ing to change what we are go­ing to do con­tinue to do.”

At the fore­front of Zi­dane’s mind was Real’s huge Cham­pi­ons League clash away to Borus­sia Dort­mund tomorrow.

How­ever, Ron­aldo en­dured a poor night in front of goal as he fluffed a great chance from Al­varo Mo­rata’s cut-back be­fore half­time and fired straight at Javi Varas in the build-up to Madrid’s sec­ond goal.

“We have a game on Tues­day and I thought it was the time to take him off, 20 min­utes from the end, think­ing about Tues­day,” added Zi­dane.

“I know he al­ways wants to play and al­ways wants to stay on the field, but I also have to think about the play­ers and for me it was best to rest and think about Tues­day.”

Ron­aldo has com­pleted 90 min­utes just twice this sea­son, though, as he was also re­placed early on his re­turn from a knee lig­a­ment in­jury against Osasuna ear­lier this month and missed last week­end’s win at Es­panyol due to ill­ness.

Real’s lead over Barcelona at the top of the table now stands at a soli­tary point hav­ing failed to bounce back from a 1-1 draw with Vil­lar­real on Wed­nes­day that snapped a 16-game win­ning streak in La Liga.

Of most con­cern for Madrid is their leaky de­fence as they have now kept just one clean sheet in their last six games.

“Some­times there are games like this where you have the chances to win and you don’t take them,” con­tin­ued Zi­dane.

“I think there is a lack of con­cen­tra­tion in the sec­ond goal. I have to an­a­lyse it, but I am not go­ing to com­plain. Play­ing like this for 90 min­utes we will be at the top of the league I have no doubt.”

Gareth Bale had been the star mem­ber of Madrid’s front line most of­ten sac­ri­ficed by Zi­dane in re­cent weeks as the Welsh­man was re­placed in each of his last three out­ings.

How­ever, Bale looked close to be­ing back to the form which saw him shine to­wards the end of last sea­son and at Euro 2016 and be­lieves Ron­aldo will also need time to get back to 100% fit­ness fol­low­ing his two-month in­jury lay­off af­ter the Eu­ros. – AFP

– REUTERSPIX

Real Madrid for­ward Cris­tiano Ron­aldo (left) heads into the ground while closely marked by Las Pal­mas’ Jonathan Viera and Dani Castel­lano (right) dur­ing their Span­ish Liga match at the Gran Ca­naria Sta­di­u­min Las Pal­mas de Gran Ca­naria yes­ter­day.

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