Zinedine Zidane refuses to discuss Gareth Bale's future following his omission against Villarreal
Zidane on Bale's omission: "I'm the coach, I have to pick the team and that's all there is to it. You can interpret it as you wish. I need to pick a squad of players and some are going to miss out"
Last Updated: 05/05/19 10:10pm
Zinedine Zidane refused to discuss Gareth Bale's future after the forward was left out of the matchday squad as Real Madrid claimed a hard-fought 3-2 win over Villarreal on Sunday.
A double from Mariano and Jesus Vallejo's close-range strike ultimately gave the home side all three points, although Villarreal had been on level terms through Gerard Moreno and created numerous chances before Jaume Costa scored in the fourth minute of injury time.
Despite Karim Benzema being ruled out through injury, Bale was deemed surplus to requirements by Zidane, fuelling speculation that Bale will leave the Bernabeu in the summer.
"I'm the coach, I have to pick the team and that's all there is to it," Zidane said of his decision to leave Bale out in quotes published on the club's official website.
"You can interpret it as you wish. I need to pick a squad of players and some are going to miss out."
How Real beat Villarreal
The home side took the lead after just two minutes when former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla dawdled in possession deep in Villarreal's half, allowing Brahim Diaz to nip in and tee up Mariano, who got between two defenders to stab home.
Moreno equalised in the 11th minute but Vallejo restored Real's lead before the interval.
Real extended their advantage early in the second-half when a brilliant cross from Dani Carvajal gave Mariano an easy close-range finish for his second goal of the game.
"Of course he's not had too many opportunities because he's been injured, he's been out for a long time. Mariano got his chance to play today and he's scored twice, I'm happy for him."
Zinedine Zidane on Mariano's performance
Victory meant Real bounced back from a stunning 1-0 defeat at lowly Rayo Vallecano last week.
"We played much better than the other day and I feel much happier now, as do the players," Zidane said.
"We won the game at our ground and I'm pleased. It was a rather end-to-end game and when you're 3-1 up you shouldn't be letting them score, but we did. It's a variety of things, tiredness, the heat, but we didn't finish the game brilliantly."
Real's support for Casillas
Real Madrid's players and fans took a moment before Sunday's league win over Villarreal to send messages of support to former goalkeeper Iker Casillas as he recovers from a heart attack.
Players posed for a team photo wearing T-shirts that said in Spanish "Iker, we are all with you," while the Real Madrid fans at the Bernabeu chanted his name and unfurled a huge banner saying "Madrid fans are with you. Stay strong, eternal captain."
The 37-year-old fell ill while training for his club Porto on Wednesday and remains hospitalised after undergoing a catheterization.
Porto's doctors said the former Spain goalkeeper is expected to fully recover, but it is too early to know if he can keep playing professionally.
Casillas at Real Madrid
Casillas was a huge fan favorite during his 16 seasons with Madrid, where he won three Champions League and five Spanish league trophies. Casillas also helped Spain to win the 2010 World Cup and two European Championships.
Elsewhere in La Liga
Getafe are trying to join Real Madrid, second-placed Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in the Champions League next season.
They moved back ahead of Sevilla into fourth place and the final spot for Europe's top club competition after beating Girona 2-0 at home.
Jorge Molina continued his excellent season, scoring his 14th league goal of the campaign before Angel Rodriguez put the result beyond doubt.
Rayo Vallecano became the first team to be relegated from La Liga after Valladolid beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla.
In the final game of the day, Valencia, who face Arsenal in the Europa League semi-final on Thursday, beat Huesca 6-2 at the Estadio El Alcoraz.