Real Madrid Happiness is back at the Bernabeu
Saturday was the day of the Red Cross as it marked the return of Zinedine Zidane to the Real Madrid dugout. He closed wounds, brought points and performed a group therapy, all in one game.
The Frenchman decided to bring back those who have fell from prominence and the response of the players showed they want to overcome their issues.
Some of them even scored goals, such as Isco and Gareth Bale, to bring a sense of tranquillity back to the club and to Florentino Perez, who was very keen to bring back the man who delivered three Champions Leagues in two-and-a-half years.
Zidane has a lot to do but the first step was positive, and he managed to silence the critics and buy himself time in his bid to revive the team’s fortunes.
With 10 games ahead before the end of the season, his only mission at the moment is to save the honour of the side and to not get sloppy, with Champions League qualification practically assured.
His starting line-up surprised everyone but in order to recover what was lost, the Frenchman remembered the success of months ago and opted to get the old band back together.
Alvaro Odriozola also appeared and gave a good account of himself, playing again as if he has been wearing white for his entire career.
Marcelo, Isco, Marco Asensio and Bale have been the four players that many Madrid fans have been calling on to improve, and they all returned to the starting side on Saturday afternoon.
Some had to show what they can do again, whilst others were looking to gain confidence. There is no denying that the players all put in worthy performances, which will have given the team – and the players themselves – a big boost.
The quartet showed all of the desire in the world and, in their own way, each contributed to the triumph of the team.
Isco scored at an important time in the game, while the Brazilian helped set up Bale to close out the result. Asensio was boisterous and direct, a reminder that he is a player capable of winning games on his own.
Celta Vigo were hardly a match, though, and were weak as they looked physically off the pace and had hardly any offensive threat. In their only clear chance, for Maxi Gomez in the 15th minute, they were prevented by a wonderful reaction save by Keylor Navas, one of those brought back in by Zidane.
The Frenchman decided to bring the second-choice goalkeeper back in, with MARCA revealing this week that Thibaut Courtois’ performances were in question, and the coach wanted to reward the Costa Rican’s silent hard work.
That save by Navas typified the return of Zidane as Madrid rebuild their confidence with an impressive victory.
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