‘Ron­aldo has to live with be­ing subbed’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

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 2-1 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 back close 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 per­cent fit­ness fol­low­ing his two-month in­jury lay­off af­ter the Eu­ros.

“He’s been work­ing hard on his in­juries since he came back,” said Bale.

“He hasn’t had a pre-sea­son like me and it takes a lit­tle bit of time.”

Bale is yet to score since the open­ing day of the La Liga sea­son, but in­sists the goals will ar­rive if Real con­tinue to cre­ate the num­ber of chances they did in the Ca­nary Is­lands.

“We’re not happy to lose four points, but if you look at the league over­all we are in a good po­si­tion,” he added.

“You have to look at the pos­i­tives. Of course we are dis­ap­pointed, but we are still un­beaten. We are still cre­at­ing chances and if we keep do­ing that we’ll score plenty of goals.” — Su­perS­port

Cris­tiano Ron­aldo

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