Zidane struggling to shore up Real Madrid defence

Zidane struggling to shore up Real Madrid defence Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane admitted injuries will force him into patching up a makeshift defence for Saturday’s visit of Sevilla after Raphael Varane joined an increasing list of absentees. The French international limped off holding his left leg as Madrid edged out Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in a Champions League thriller on Wednesday. However, with the defending champions already having secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League behind Tottenham Hotspur in Group H, Zidane was more concerned with…

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Zinedine Zidane pleads for calm amid Real slump

In the space of just five games Real Madrid have gone from red hot La Liga title favourites to trailing rivals Barcelona by seven points ahead of Saturday’s trip to Alaves. When Madrid swept a crisis-ridden Barca aside 5-1 in the Spanish Super Cup last month, Zinedine Zidane’s men were expected to romp to the title. Instead, disappointing home draws against Valencia and Levante were compounded as Real failed to score for the first time in 74 games when Real Betis became the first side other than Barca or Atletico…

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Real Madrid beaten by Real Betis on Ronaldo return

Antonio Sanabria struck deep into stoppage time to hand Real Betis a shock 1-0 win away to Real Madrid on Wednesday as the European champions failed to score for the first time in 74 matches. Defeat leaves Real already seven points adrift of leaders Barcelona just five games into their defence of La Liga having failed to win in all three home games so far this season. Even the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo on his return from a five-match domestic ban couldn’t break Betis’ resistence as former Real goalkeeper Antonio…

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Ronaldo back for Real Madrid, Deulofeu in for Dembele

Barcelona begin a four-month stretch without injured club record signing Ousmane Dembele, but will be expected to sweep aside Eibar to continue their 100 percent start to La Liga on Tuesday. Cristiano Ronaldo returns from a five-match ban for Real Madrid 24 hours later at home to Real Betis, whilst Atletico Madrid face a daunting trip to Athletic Bilbao. Here, AFP Sports highlights five things to look out for in this midweek’s fifth round of La Liga fixtures. Dembele opens door to Deulofeu Dembele’s prolonged absence hands Gerard Deulofeu a…

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