Real Madrid: "Isco couldn't play" explains Zidane
Real Madrid was keen to dispel any doubts about why Isco was not included in the starting XI against Getafe: "He's only had one training session".
Zinedine Zidane gave an explanation as to why Isco was not his starting line-up for Tuesday's meeting with Getafe. The coach added that Real Madrid will "keep on fighting" in the race for LaLiga, after last night's victory took Los Blancos within five points of leaders Atlético Madrid.
Atleti's draw with Celta on Monday gave Madrid the opportunity to make up some ground when they faced Getafe on Tuesday, and Madrid cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win. Karim Benzema's fifth headed goal of the season in all competitions – more than any other LaLiga player other than Sevilla's Youssef En-Nesyri – put Madrid ahead with an hour played before Férland Mendy turned home Marcelo's cross.
Getafe were hardly robust opposition, however, with José Bordalas' side mustering just one attempt in the entire match - Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois did not have to make a save, claim a catch or punch a cross clear. It is the lowest amount of shots Madrid have faced in a LaLiga match since 2004-05, while have scored just 17 goals in the league this season - their lowest tally in a single season after 22 games played.
1 - @realmadriden faced just one shot against Getafe, fewer than in any other #LaLiga game since at least 2003/04 when this stat is available in the competition. Solvency#RealMadridGetafe pic.twitter.com/AxkPx6WORZ— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 9, 2021
Madrid move up a place
Nevertheless, Madrid did what was required of them and moved back into second place, three points above Barcelona and five behind Atleti, though Diego Simeone's side have two games in hand. Zidane insisted Madrid's focus is simply on taking it game by game as they hope to retain their title.
"It will not change anything, we will do our thing. Our duty is to fight, to continue with our work, without paying attention to others," said Zidane, after seeing his side win back-to-back games for the first time in 2021. "It's a good win. They are two consecutive victories, we needed it. Also with many injuries. We needed it now. I don't think there are Madridistas who think we're going to lose the league. On the contrary, they think we can always change things and that is what we are going to try to do. With difficulties, it is clear, but we continue to do our thing. You have to keep fighting, little by little."
With Madrid in control of the game, Zidane brought on Isco for the last quarter of an hour – the playmaker having not featured since 23 January due to a back injury. Isco has made just three LaLiga starts this season and has created five chances – registering one assist – across 12 league appearances in total.
"Isco couldn't start," Zidane explained when asked why Isco, who was linked with a move away in January, was on the bench. "He has only trained once with the team. That's why I gave him 15 minutes. That's all."
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