Real Madrid suffered another surprise defeat as Zinedine Zidane’s rotation policy once again failed to earn a good result, this time at Espanyol. Real coach Zinedine Zidane rested Ronaldo ahead of next weeks visit to Paris St-Germain in the Champions League last 16, which his side lead 3-1 from the first leg, and selected Gareth Bale at centre forward in a much-changed team.
Espanyol beat Real Madrid for the first time in 23 games in all competitions since 2007, Gerard Moreno scored Espanyol’s first goal against Real Madrid for 9 hours and 20 minutes since Stuani in May 2015.
Real Madrid have lost 1-0 to Espanyol away from home on Wednesday. League leaders Barcelona will be 17 points better off than Madrid if they snatch a victory at Las Palmas on Thursday
After the game Zidane confessed: “Sometimes, you can’t understand football, you have to accept the bad times. We did not deserve to lost or win.After five games of good results and good play, today we didn’t manage it.”
“We didn’t deserve the defeat.It hurts. Espanyol had few chances.It’s a bad result. A bit of everything,” was his analysis.
Zidane believed his team were started the game very well: “We started very well in the first half and we had chances, but didn’t score. We didn’t find our style of play or any depth in the second half.”
When the score was 0-0, Zidane sent Sergio Ramos up front in an unusual move, one which he explained after the final whistle : “When it’s 0-0 there are things that can happen,we always try to win and in the end we couldn’t do it”.
“It’s worse because at the end they scored a goal in the last minute.It’s difficult after that effort.”