- Benzema’s late second half goal save the night for Real Madrid
- Los Blancos are 5 points shy for the league toppers Atletico Madrid
- Zidane said his team will “fight to the end” in the La Liga title race
Sunday’s result left Real Madrid 5 points shy from the league leaders Atletico Madrid and their manager said they will aim for the trophy.
Los Blancos’ boss Zinedine Zidane has vowed that his side will “fight until the end” for the title race after they snatched a late point from the league leaders Atletico Madrid in the 88th minute of the game.
The Frenchman, Karim Benzema struck late in the second half of the match to cancel out the one goal advantage Atletico had from Luis Suarez’s 15th minute goal, making sure spoils were shared in El Derbi at Wanda Metropolitano.
The result of the match left Real Madrid just 5 points behind Atletico Madrid who are currently leading the La Liga table and also enjoy a 1 game advantage, however, Zidane vows that the champions will give their all until the end of the season.
When asked if Real still has a shot at the title, Zidane said, “The objective is this, to continue,” and added, “We know there is a lot left [but] we are going to fight until the end.
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“Everything can always change. We are doing things well, we can improve. It is what we are going to do.
“I am very proud of all my players. We are in the same boat and we are going to fight to the end.”
Los Blancos were perhaps unlucky as they were unable to pull level earlier after they were turned down for a penalty call made against Felipe, as the Atletico man appearing to handle the ball with his forearm and elbow.
However, Zidane, declined to criticise the decision in his post-match press conference, saying “I don’t mess around (with the referee), his job is difficult.
“He made that decision to watch the play and not whistle, and we respect him. That’s it. We know it’s complicated. We can’t get into that. We have to respect that. It will not change.”
Having said that, the late point from Madrid further adds to the problems for Atletico Madrid manager by Diego Simeone, who has seen his side slip to one win in their last four league games where they have only 1 of the last 4 matches, drew 2 and lost 1.
Such diminishing returns have allowed not just Real but also Barcelona to reposition themselves in the race for the La Liga title, having closed the gap on what had once seemed a definitive margin.
Zidane will take his side to face Elche on the 13th of March at 8:45 PM (IST) at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, while Atletico face off with Supercopa de Espana holders Athletic Club on the 10th of March.