REAL MADRID

Zidane praises Madrid's fighting spirit after late equaliser

Karim Benzema got a late equaliser at Valencia on Sunday, leaving coach Zinedine Zidane thrilled by Real Madrid's attitude.

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Zidane praises Madrid's fighting spirit after late equaliser
JAVIER GANDUL DIARIO AS

Real Madrid managed to salvage a 1-1 draw at Valencia at Mestalla on Sunday thanks to a late equaliser from striker Karim Benzema, which coach Zinedine Zidane believes is proof of the team's fighting spirit.

Valencia looked to be heading for a 1-0 win when Carlos Soler put the hosts in front with 12 minutes to go, then surviving a scare as Luka Jovic had a goal disallowed for offside.

But Madrid continued to plug away and eventually restored parity deep into stoppage time – Benzema slamming home after goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was remarkably denied when his header was saved by Jaume Domenech.

As such, Madrid go into Wednesday's Clásico against Barcelona with something of a morale boost, with Zidane suggesting the late goal highlights his team's mentality.

Zidane: Madrid don't lower arms

"This shows you what we are, we fight until the end. We fight and what we want is to get a good result," he told Movistar.

"We don't lower our arms. We got it [the equaliser] with the courtesy of Courtois and Karim. I'm glad for them because it has been a tremendous effort from everyone.

"You have to be proud of the game. When in such a difficult stadium, you concede a goal a few minutes from full-time, you can fall apart, but we still thought that something could be achieved, and we achieved it."

Zinedine Zidane with Valencia coach Albert Celades.

Ramos: Bitter end despite late Madrid goal

Club captain Sergio Ramos was less philosophical about dropping points, however, acknowledging he leaves Mestalla disappointed.

"Despite scoring at the end, it tastes a bit bitter despite adding a point. When you don't leave with the three points, you leave with that pity," he said.

"I think we've controlled the match well, with balance. We had in front of us a rival who came into the match in good form.

"We can't press for the full 90 minutes, but we've gone all the way. We've made a point that allows us to stay joint-top."