Zidane, happy for Vinicius: "He deserves it..."
Real Madrid coach Zidane was satisfied following Sunday's 2-0 victory over Barcelona which allowed his team to return to the top of the table.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane praised his players for bouncing back from their Champions League collapse by upstaging Barcelona in El Clásico. Pressure was on Madrid following their 1-2 home defeat to Manchester City in the opening leg of the Champions LeagueLast 16 tie on Wednesday. But Zidane's side responded with a 2-0 victory over Barça on Sunday. Vinicius and substitute Mariano Díaz scored in the second half at the Santiago Bernabéu as Madrid returned to the top of LaLiga table.
Zidane happy with Madrid's response
Zidane expressed his pride post-match, telling reporters: "It was important how the team reacted today. The players weren't down but it was a complicated week for them, and we prepared for this game well. It shows the players are committed. [Against City] We played 78 very good minutes and lost. Today, we won playing well from start to finish. We need to stick to what we believe, but we know that it will be hard until the very end. We need to prove ourselves every time we play."
The coach was especially happy for teenage forward Vinicius who, at the age of 19 years and 233 days, became the youngest Clásico goal scorer this century, surpassing Barça superstar Lionel Messi with his 71st-minute opener before Mariano completed the win in stoppage time.
Zidane applauds Vinicius' effort in El Clásico
"Vinicius did well - he scored an important goal in an important game and I'm happy for him. He made a big effort helping the team in attack and defensively - we have to defend as one," Zidane explained. "He has the quality, but we can't control what's said on the outside and he knows that. He is still very young and sometimes the criticism is difficult to take. He really helped Marcelo and Semedo and at the end of the day, football is a collective game, and that's what helped us win the game"
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