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Real Madrid news in brief: Zidane, Bale, Marcelo, Benzema...

Real Madrid news in brief: Zidane, Bale, Marcelo, Benzema...

JAVIER GANDUL

DIARIO AS

Today's bitesize Real Madrid news features a milestone for head coach Zinedine Zidane, jeers for Gareth Bale and Marcelo, and more.

Assist king Karim keeps 'em coming

Striker Karim Benzema not only bent in a fine late winner in Real Madrid's 3-2 win over Huesca on Sunday (his 24th goal in all competitions this season) but also teed up midfielder Dani Ceballos to prod in Los Blancos' second at the Bernabéu - an assist that means the Frenchman has set up goals in three straight club games for the first time since back in May 2013.

Bale and Marcelo both booed

Gareth Bale, who is being heavily tipped for a summer exit after comprehensively failing to step up in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo's departure, was whistled by sections of the Madrid support at several points in the LaLiga victory - particularly after getting a direct free-kick attempt all wrong early in the second half. There were also jeers for Marcelo - a player who has likewise been linked with a move after a poor campaign, but now appears minded to stay.

Zidane took charge of his 50th home LaLiga match on Sunday.

Zidane reaches Bernabéu milestone

The narrow triumph over Huesca was Zinedine Zidane's 50th LaLiga home game as Real Madrid head coach. Over the course of this half century of Bernabéu matches, Los Blancos have registered 37 wins, eight draws and five defeats, scoring a total of 148 goals - an average of nearly three a game.

Valencia up next for Madrid

With LaLiga barely pausing for breath before returning for a midweek round of fixtures, Zidane's men now travel to the east coast for a big-name clash with in-form Valencia on Wednesday. Los Che sit just three points off the Champions League places after Dani Parejo's penalty earned them a crucial, 1-0 win at Sevilla on Sunday - their 11th straight league game without defeat.

Naughty Nacho to miss Mestalla match-up

Defender Nacho Fernández will be unavailable for the trip to Valencia. The club youth product, who last week welcomed a baby son into the world, will serve a one-match ban after collecting a suspension-incurring yellow card against Huesca.