Real Madrid’s title hopes are over, according to Zidane
Real Madrid cannot win La Liga after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to rival Atletico Madrid, according to coach Zinedine Zidane.
Antoine Griezmann’s second-half goal secured a narrow 1-0 victory against the hosts to wrap up their third consecutive victory against their rivals at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Defeat leaves Zidane’s side nine points behind league leader Barcelona, which could go 12 points clear at the top with a win over Sevilla on Sunday.
And the 43-year-old concedes they Madrid is now too far behind to stand a chance of catching the Catalans.
"Before you ask, the league is over," the Frenchman told reporters. "It was always difficult. I told the players yesterday that if we lose points it will be more difficult. We are not going to throw the league away though, whatever happens."
Atletico played out a 0-0 draw with PSV in the Champions League on Wednesday while Madrid had not played since a 1-1 draw with Malaga in La Liga on Sunday.
The fact that Los Blancos had the entire week to prepare for the derby left Zidane underwhelmed by the result, claiming his side did not exploit any potential fatigue in its opponent.
"I’m not happy with the match and I’m not happy with the result," he said. "The important thing for me and the team is to think about the next game.
"We didn’t play the game how we prepared, so it’s here we had to work more. When you play against a team who played on Wednesday you need to do more. They can’t go into the match and be comfortable and that’s what they did so it’s more difficult to take."