Zidane to rest Ronaldo to keep him fresh for PSG

Ruben Hill
March 3, 2018

Moreno let the ball bounce once before ripping it into the right side of the net.

Instead it was Gerard who stole the show as Espanyol scored a deserved win that sees them climb to 13th in La Liga. "We played really well in the first-half but couldn't score".

Meanwhile, the likes of Isco, Mateo Kovacic and Theo Hernandez could also have a new chance to impress against Espanyol with the trip to Barcelona still coming too early for Modric, Marcelo, Kroos and Jesus Vallejo. "We dropped further back for some spells in the second half, but you've got to accept these tough times", he added.

And asked why the Plan B was not working this season, he replied: "There is no Plan B. We are a team with 25 players. But no, this was a defeat, and hard to take".

Tuesday morning's squad announcement confirmed Ronaldo was excused a second consecutive away game, while club captain Sergio Ramos returns from suspension and young winger Marco Asensio is available again having missed the weekend's fixture due to having had a wisdom tooth removed. We always look for the win and ultimately we were unable to.

There was much talk of unrest between a number of key players earlier on in the season, with a rift between Sergio Ramos and Ronaldo being heavily reported, so much so that Zidane felt the need to address the situation to the media.

David de Gea
GETTY David de Gea is on Real Madrid's shortlist

Ronaldo, who scored eight goals in his last four games, was rested by Zidane to make sure he is fully fit for the second leg against Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League next week.

"There is no Plan B, we are one team, one group", Zidane said. "We expect to face a confident, secure team". Today it did not go well.

"I never dreamed I would win five Ballon d'Or awards".

The way the game developed: "The objective was to think about the league because we had a good feeling in the last few games".

PSG coach Unai Emery is set to be without star man Neymar due to a foot injury. "We started well but just didn't take our chances".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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