Real Madrid - APOEL

Zidane: “In the second half we upped the tempo and got a good result"

NEWS | 13/09/2017 | Javier García

"Cristiano is a key player for us, he's always there and always scores goals", he added.
Zidane was pleased with the team's win in the Champions League opener. After the 3-0 victory against APOEL, the coach spoke about the match in the press room: "It was important for us to get the points. We started the competition eagerly. We can’t be very happy with the first half, but the second was much better. We got a good result, it was important to start well in this competition and we have done just that".
"We scored three goals and we didn’t concede any. Everyone talks about winning the third consecutive Champions League, but you have to play and fight hard in every game. Today we didn’t get in to it very well, especially the rhythm of the game. That's where we always make the difference, with rhythm and with the ball. We can’t be happy with the first half with the ball. In the second, we injected pace in to it and we got a very good result".
"He’s a key player for us, he’s always there and always scores. I hope it stays that way. We’re not going to have him on Sunday and I hope it’s the last game of the season that we’re without him. On Sunday we’ve not got Cristiano nor Karim, but we will have other players and we will do well".

“I don’t think people come to boo or jeer him, that wasn’t the case tonight. He can play in many positions and obviously, he is good on the left. He started off playing there but further back in defence. He can play anywhere up front. He started alongside Cristiano tonight and did well. I am happy with our performance in general, especially that second half”.

It was important to start well in this competition.

“We’re seeing more of him each day and he is becoming a better player. After a four-month injury, he needs the same time to recover. He went through all of the preseason without injures and I think we’ll see Gareth getting better gradually. I’m happy with how he did, he gave that first assist”.
Start of the season
“We want to continue this good start to the season and build on our good work, we won two titles in a spectacular way. The Valencia game was good, the Levante game really was not and nor was the first half tonight. On Sunday, we will have yet another different first half, and we need it to be a good one”.
Kovacic’s injury
“We’ll have a look at it tomorrow. The same niggling injury he had a few days ago came back tonight. He says it is nothing serious and I really hope he’s right, but we will have a look at it”.