Football

Zidane: We lacked a bit of everything

Annoyed Zidane says narrow Real win was a game to forget

REAL MADRID 2

(Cristiano Ronaldo 5-pen, 18)

SPORTING GIJON 1

(Carlos Carmona 35)

Cristiano Ronaldo continued his rich vein of form scoring twice in Real Madrid's 2-1 home win over struggling Sporting Gijon yesterday morning (Singapore time), although the La Liga leaders got a lucky break when the visitors squandered a second-half penalty.

The prolific Portuguese put Real ahead from the spot in the fifth minute and dived in to head the second in the 18th, claiming his eighth goal in four league games to go top of the scoring charts with 10 goals.

Despite the early goals, Real struggled to control the game on a rain-swept afternoon at the Bernabeu, and Carlos Carmona pulled one back for the visiting side 10 minutes before half-time before Duje Cop missed a 78th-minute spot-kick which would have levelled the tie.

Real coach Zinedine Zidane lamented that his side "lacked a bit of everything".

He said: "It was a game to forget for us because nothing went how we wanted it to.

"We lacked a bit of everything but we're happy with the three points, which is the most important thing.

"We can't be happy with our display but sometimes it happens.

"Above all, I'm annoyed because we had the game in our hands and their goal changed the game - they came out more motivated in the second half.

"The game got complicated, but we can be happy by the fact we're still top and unbeaten."

Sporting went to the Bernabeu in the relegation zone and without a win in their last nine games but gave Real two early frights, with Cop and Carmona squandering clear chances.

Los Blancos goalkeeper Keylor Navas admitted that his side did not play well.

He said: "It was not our best game, but there are always going to be games when the team doesn't play well.

"We cannot be conformists, but we need to be happy because we got a win in a game in where we were not particularly good at all."

STRANGE WEATHER

Pepe, however, insisted that Real deserved to win, saying: "It was a really difficult game, a lot of rain and strange weather.

"The team knew how to suffer as a team and we deserved the win...

"It was a complicated game, in which we suffered a lot to win, but that is the sign of champions."

Fellow defender Nacho, who conceded the penalty when he fouled Victor Rodriguez, added that the win ensured Real go into Saturday's El Clasico against Barcelona with the upper hand.

He said: "We started the game well and got a two-goal advantage.

"After that, we relaxed a bit.

"We started to doubt ourselves and the second half was not our best.

"But these three points are huge for us as we now go into the Clasico with an even better advantage."

Sevilla yesterday moved above Barca into second place after a 2-1 win over Valencia, but the Catalans can remedy the situation if they beat bogey side Real Sociedad at the Anoeta this morning.

- Wire Services.

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