Barcelona heartlessly trampled on Real Madrid with a 3-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday to offer the hosts a most humiliating Christmas gift, but coach Zinedine Zidane says he has accepted the loss in good faith and will not change anything in his squad.
All three goals were scored in the second half of El Clasico to open up a 14-point gap between the bitter rivals.
Zidane admitted it was a sore loss, but stressed that he’d rather concentrate on his team’s awesome first half performance.
“We are not going to go haywire,” said Los Blancos head coach in a post-match interview with BeIN Sports.
The Frenchman admitted it’s “a very difficult loss to take,” but was proud that they started well in the first half and had chances of winning against Barcelona.
“There’s no need for us to change anything…we started very well and the first half was even, so this defeat hurts really bad,” the Ballon d’Or winner added.
“It’s tough for us, but this is football. We have accepted it.”
Image: Zinedine Zidane
The 45-year-old tactician also said he won’t lose hope on their Liga dreams after the defeat to Barcelona.
“We will never give up,” he stressed.
“Now we have to embark on Christmas holidays and not worry about the results. It is time to enjoy family bonds and then come back for more action.
“This race for the title is not over yet.”
Substituting Isco with Mateo Kovacic seemed to make sense under the guise of marking Lionel Messi out the game, as that is what the Croatian did, but the Madrid footballer became too obsessed with his Argentine counterpart and that allowed Ivan Rakitic forward to create the opening goal.