Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hailed his heavily rotated side’s attitude following their 2-1 win over Leganes on Saturday evening, despite finding themselves under the cosh for much of the second half.
The Frenchman made 10 changes to the starting XI which featured in the Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich earlier in the week; with Casemiro the only survivor – although the Brazilian was tasked with playing at centre back.
But two first half goals courtesy of Gareth Bale and Borja Mayoral was enough to see of a Darko Brasanac inspired comeback, who netted just after the hour mark, and following the contest, the 45-year-old told Sky Sports he was pleased with his selection’s application and mentality, albeit admitted Los Blancos’ overall La Liga showing this season has been below par.
“I’m pleased with the attitude of players today with ten changes and guys who haven’t had much playing time,” Zidane said. “The attitude was exemplary.
“It was a fantastic first half and we dropped off a bit in the second, but we took the three points.
“We can’t be happy with our performance in LaLiga overall. We dropped too many points early on, but we have improved. Now we have to go back to work because it’s the biggest game of the year on Tuesday.”
Real Madrid take a 2-1 advantage into the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Bayern on Tuesday evening, and Zidane has urged the fans to get behind the side as they attempt to reach their third consecutive final.
“I don’t know how significant the first-leg advantage will be in the Champions League. We know what happened against Juve and last year against Bayern as well,” he added.
“We need a huge performance; we must play better than we have done all year if we’re to qualify. We’re ready. We’re going to give it all we’ve got to make it to the final.
“They’ll come here with nothing to lose. We’ll have to put in a huge performance, and we’ll need the support of our fans, more so than ever, because they know what we’re playing for.
“The fans have always been behind the team, and we want them there more than ever before to help us make it to the final.”