Zinedine Zidane says Real Madrid did not 'shine' against Celta Vigo
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 28/08/16 2:37pm
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was pleased with the determination of his side after they claimed a hard-fought 2-1 win over Celta Vigo at the Bernabeu, but believes there is 'room for improvement'.
The hosts needed almost an hour to open the scoring through Alvaro Morata, but quickly conceded an equaliser courtesy of Fabian Orellana's superb finish.
Gareth Bale then missed a great chance to head Real back in front before Toni Kroos swept in what proved to be the winner, although the lukewarm reaction from the crowd at the final whistle told its own story.
"We played against a team who played a lot better than I expected, especially in defence," Zidane said. "They made life hard for us and we didn't get any easy chances.
"Sometimes it happens that a game goes to 1-1 and it's not easy. We took the three points from this game and the players' attitudes really pleased me, they believed right up to the end. They were focused right up to the final whistle.
"It is clear that we didn't particularly shine. In some games we are unable to play how we want to. We played against a tough opponent that made life hard for us.
"We have room for improvement but I'm content with our start to the season, winning two La Liga games and winning another official game (UEFA Super Cup). Now we have the international games coming up and a lot of players will have to go, but we can't change that."
With Cristiano Ronaldo still absent with the injury he suffered during the final of Euro 2016 in July, Luka Modric had been the most likely player to break the deadlock in the first half.
The former Tottenham midfielder hit the bar with one long-range effort and brought a good save out of Sergio Alvarez with another, but was replaced by James Rodriguez after 69 minutes.
"Luka worked very hard and I had to freshen things up a bit," Zidane added. "He just took a knock. He looked good and had decent chances.
"Kroos and Modric are very important. They pressed very well and fulfilled their defensive duties. Sometimes it's tough for the forwards and they helped the midfielders out and the full-backs as well.
"I'm very happy with my team. It's clear we have to improve but sometimes things are not so straightforward at the beginning. The opponent often knows how you play and how to neutralize the threat posed by our full-backs."