‘El Clasico win can be turning point’

Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane kept his emotions in check as those around him celebrated victory

Real Madrid’s El Clasico victory could be a “turning point” for their poor La Liga season, boss Zinedine Zidane says.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s late goal secured a 2-1 win at Barcelona – ending the league leaders’ 39-match unbeaten run.

Zidane’s side remain third, seven points adrift of Barcelona and one behind second-placed Atletico Madrid.

“We must go step by step,” he said. “First we must pass Atletico. Then we’ll see what happens. There are still games to play.”

He added: “This can be a turning point. It is very important, for the rest of season, for our spirit.”

Real, who last won La Liga in 2012, have endured a turbulent season, with Zidane taking charge in January following the dismissal of Rafa Benitez after just seven months in charge.

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They have, though, now won six matches in a row in all competitions as they prepare for Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg trip to Germany to face Wolfsburg.

“When I see a team that’s united and all together, with everyone fighting for their team-mates and for their coach, there’s nothing better,” Zidane said.

“Coming into the game, we knew that we would have to work hard and be well prepared for it.

“We put in a good performance, we’ve got the three points and we now need to rest and start thinking about the Wolfsburg game because it’s very important for us as we look to continue what we’ve started.”


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Barcelona’s defeat was their first in any competition since they lost 2-1 at Sevilla in La Liga on 3 October.

They took the lead through Gerard Pique’s header, but Karim Benzema equalised before Ronaldo struck his 42nd goal of the season with five minutes left.

The Portugal international’s winner came two minutes after Real had been reduced to 10 men, captain Sergio Ramos sent off for a second bookable offence as he fouled Luis Suarez.

Barcelona centre-back Pique said: “We did not know how to play with a player more on the pitch and we lost control after the red card.”

However, he added that Barca, who play Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday and also have the Copa del Rey final against Sevilla to look forward to in May, would not allow defeat to demoralise them.

“We have to move on and not dwell on this defeat,” he said. “You cannot always win. We are still in a good position in three competitions.”

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