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Zidane sees red over Bale's blunder

China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-03 07:05

MADRID - Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said his side had no one to blame but itself despite Gareth Bale's red card in a 3-3 draw at home to Las Palmas on Wednesday.

Madrid looked set for a first home league loss in a year as Las Palmas took advantage of Bale's dismissal early in the second half to lead 3-1 with just three minutes remaining.

However, Cristiano Ronaldo's double salvaged a draw and keeps Real just a point adrift of league leader Barcelona with a game in hand.

"We can't look for excuses," said an angry Zidane. "What we can do is improve our performance. We are not happy with how we are playing.

"There are moments in the season like this. The past three or four games things haven't gone as we would want, but we are not going to look for excuses in the referees."

Bale's first red card since joining Madrid for a then world-record fee of $103 million in 2013 came with the score tied 1-1 as Tana canceled out Isco's opener for Real inside the first 10 minutes.

The Welshman kicked out at Jonathan Viera twice before finally pushing the Las Palmas midfielder to the ground.

"He has apologized. He is not happy with the sending-off," said Zidane.

Madrid vice-captain Marcelo said Bale is aware his moment of madness had badly let his teammates down.

"I am not one to give him a clip round the ear ... that is what I do to my children," said the Brazilian.

"Bale is old enough to know if he has made a mistake or not.

"These things happen in football, but hopefully it doesn't happen again between now and the end of the season."

In a recurring theme of Madrid's season, a stunning late effort undid a lot of the damage caused by a below-par display.

The European champion trailed Villarreal 2-0 on Sunday before a rousing comeback in the final 25 minutes sealed a 3-2 win.

However, having also lost 2-1 at Valencia last week after conceding twice in the first 10 minutes, Zidane insisted Los Blancos can't always leave themselves with a mountain to climb.

"We can't go over the top. There are things we have done well this year, but we have to analyze it and we will change things," said the Frenchman.

"We have shown we have character and we can do more. We have to improve particularly in our first-half performances.

"We have to think about the positives. We will analyze the negatives, but to come back from 1-3 to 3-3 is a huge effort."

Agence France-Presse

(China Daily 03/03/2017 page23)

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