Real yet to feel at home: Zidane

Real Betis forward Antonio Sanabria snatching all three points for his team after his header beat Real Madrid 'keeper Keylor Navas in the dying minutes of Wednesday's LaLiga match at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Betis forward Antonio Sanabria snatching all three points for his team after his header beat Real Madrid 'keeper Keylor Navas in the dying minutes of Wednesday's LaLiga match at the Santiago Bernabeu.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

They remain winless in 3 LaLiga games at the Bernabeu this term and trail Barca by 7 points

MADRID • Zinedine Zidane lamented Real Madrid's home woes as the Spanish and European football champions slipped to a surprise 1-0 defeat by Real Betis on Wednesday.

The result means the Spanish giants are without a win in their three LaLiga games at the Santiago Bernabeu this season, having also drawn with Valencia and Levante there.

They sit seven points behind pace-setters Barcelona, who are the only side left in LaLiga with a perfect record after five games.

On Wednesday, Real enjoyed 60 per cent possession and had 27 efforts at goal to their visitors' 12. However their dominance was of no consolation to their French coach.

"The ball just didn't want to go in for us," Zidane said. "If you score one chance it's a totally different game, but when it doesn't want to go in, results like this can happen.

"We need to remain calm, but it's just two points from nine at home. I feel for the players, the effort they've put in. When the opponent scores like that at the end it hurts.

  • 73

    Matches Real Madrid's opponents took to stop them from scoring

"Next time we have a game at home we have to ensure that we do everything we can to win and change this bad run."

It was the first time in 73 matches that Real had not scored as former Real goalkeeper Antonio Adan ensured his boyhood club went away empty-handed.

Real captain Sergio Ramos was also frustrated.

"It's not normal in these matches at home against sides who on paper would normally be leaving the Bernabeu with a different result," he said.

"We need to be self-critical and turn the page.

"Hopefully it's just a problem with being clinical. We did everything we could, but there's not been a ruthless side to our finishing. Another day it finishes 4-0 or 4-1 and everything is okay."

News did not get better for Zidane as full-back Marcelo limped off with a hamstring problem.

"It might well be the muscle has gone but it needs to be tested," the coach said. "We played better than Betis but the result is what matters. I would prefer to play badly and take the three points.

"Last year we won some games we didn't deserve to and this year it looks like the opposite but we can't go mad about it."

Even the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo on his return from a five-match domestic ban could not break Betis' resistance, as Adan produced stunning saves from Isco, Toni Kroos and Gareth Bale.

And Betis snatched all three points in the 93rd minute, Antonio Sanabria powering home a header from Antonio Barragan's cross.

"It is impossible to win here without suffering," said Betis manager Quique Setien.

"To win against a team like this, your goalie has to have a spectacular game and you have to have luck."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2017, with the headline 'Real yet to feel at home: Zidane'. Print Edition | Subscribe