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Zinedine Zidane has no plans to rest Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, as he promised Eden Hazard will be back in top form for the match.
Benzema failed to register a single shot on goal in Madrid’s 2-0 win over Celta de Vigo in LaLiga on Saturday and missed twice from good positions.
The 33-year-old has started 15 of Real Madrid’s 17 LaLiga games this season and only goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Raphael Varane have played more minutes.
When asked at a post-match press conference if Benzema, who has scored eight goals in LaLiga, needed a break, following a somewhat jaded performance, Zidane disagreed.
“I don’t think he’s tired,” Zidane said.
“I think he did well and I took it off so that another player could play. We are in a great spell. We are doing the right things and we have to continue like this. “
Hazard came off the bench for another run late in the second half against Celta as he accelerated his comeback from an injury-hit start to the season.
“We are going to go little by little,” added Zidane. “Little by little, you have to recover feelings.
“We have to take it easy and not force anything. You have to get back to your best and take it easy. That’s it. “
Madrid’s possession against Celta was 41 percent, the lowest recorded in a win with Zidane at home in all competitions.
– Real Madrid CF (@realmadrid) January 2, 2021
The Madrid coach, however, was satisfied with the way his team managed the game against Celta.
“We played a complete game from start to finish,” Zidane explained.
“We controlled the game well, we had a good balance, when it came to pressing and recovering the ball, we did everything well.
“You have to control when the rival team has strong moments in the game, but the feelings are good, out of nine games we won six and three draws.”
Goals from Lucas Vázquez and Marco Asensio gave Madrid the victory as they both assisted each other in what was the fourth duo to combine in a single LaLiga match this season.
Zidane added: “I am happy for Asensio. He has had a major injury and is now much better and improving every time.
“Vázquez is very reliable, very involved and I am happy for what he is doing. We play a very serious game. I am happy for everyone ”.