Zinedine Zidane: Sometimes football is 'cruel' as Real drop points for second game in a row

Zinedine Zidane: Sometimes football is 'cruel' as Real drop points for second game in a row

Zinedine Zidane has no doubt his Real Madrid side have what to takes to remain at the top of LaLiga after a "cruel" setback at Las Palmas last night.

Real suffered the disappointment of just missing out on a top-flight record of 17 consecutive wins when Villarreal held them to a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu on Wednesday, and they dropped two further points in Gran Canaria despite leading twice.

Marco Asensio headed them in front in the 33rd minute and Karim Benzema made it 2-1 midway through the second period, but goals from Tana (38) and Sergio Araujo (85) earned the hosts a point and put them fifth in the table.

Real are top but Barcelona's 5-0 win at Sporting Gijon earlier in the day has left them with just a single-point advantage at the top.

But Zidane was generally pleased with side's performance and told the Spanish media at a press conference: "We had controlled the game, but you have to play until the end. Sometimes football is cruel.

"Playing like that over 90 minutes, we will be at the top, no doubt about it. Difficult things happen sometimes in football. When we score late to win I am happy, so today I will not complain.

"We had a good game (compared to the first-half display against Villarreal) but when you concede two goals you cannot say everything is perfect."

Cristiano Ronaldo looked deeply unimpressed to be substituted with 18 minutes to go, but Zidane insisted it was no reflection on his performance but merely an effort to keep the Portuguese fit and fresh for the challenges ahead, with a game away to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

"I did not take Cristiano off because he was playing badly, but because we play another game on Tuesday and he has to rest," the Frenchman added.

"He was playing well, like the others, but I had to think about Tuesday."

Las Palmas coach Quique Setien told reporters at a press conference: "I am happy (with a point) because we suffered out there and we had a bit of luck to get a point against Real Madrid.

"The players have done an extraordinary job, and it was a notable improvement from the game against Real Sociedad (which Las Palmas lost 4-1 on Wednesday night).

"We had faith that we could get a second goal and we made great efforts to get it."

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