Madrid - Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane
admitted he should have rested star Cristiano Ronaldo more in recent weeks
after he limped off in Real's 3-0 win over Villarreal on Wednesday.
Ronaldo was seen holding his right
hamstring before leaving the field in the closing minutes, putting at risk his
presence in Madrid's Champions League semi-final, first leg at Manchester City
Zidane is confident the three-time World
Player of the Year will be fit to face the English side, but recognised he has
to take more care of the Portuguese, who had played all but one minute of
Madrid's previous 43 La Liga and Champions League games.
"He got a fright, but I don't think it
is anything serious," said Zidane.
"We will see tomorrow (Thursday) what
"I am calmer now than when I saw him
leave the pitch.
"For a coach when you have a player
like Cristiano sometimes it is necessary for him to not play a game or not
finish a match."
However, there was better news on the
injury front for Zidane as he confirmed that Gareth Bale should be fit for the
trip to Rayo Vallecano on Saturday after missing the visit of Villarreal with a
"Hopefully he will train with us
tomorrow(Thursday) and be ready for the game on Saturday," added the Frenchman.
An eighth consecutive La Liga victory kept
Real a point behind leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, who both also won on
Wednesday, with four games of the La Liga season remaining.
Barcelona bounced back in dramatic fashion
from three consecutive league defeats for the first time in 13 years with an
8-0 thrashing of Deportivo la Coruna thanks to four goals and three assists
from Luis Suarez.
"We had to win playing the way we know
how and you are happier when you win playing like this," Suarez told
Spanish TV station Movistar+.
"We had a lot of chances and scored
lots of goals.
"Our run shows people that nothing is
easy. You have to play the games.
"Some people thought the league was
won. We are aware that it is still in our hands and we will work as we have
Under-fire Barca boss Luis Enrique had
steadfastly defended his players' performance in a 2-1 defeat on Sunday to
Valencia and believes they finally got the luck they deserved in Galicia as
Ivan Rakitic, Lionel Messi, Marc Bartra and Neymar were also on target.
"Football is special and these things
happen," said Enrique.
"Just like against Valencia, we played
very well but this time everything went in. Against Valencia I think we had
more chances, but we didn't finish them.
"We leave here with a spectacular
result and the challenge we have ahead of us is marvellous."
If Barca win all four remaining games they
will be guaranteed a 24th title thanks to their superior head-to-head record
However, Atletico have the easier run-in
with three of their remaining four at home.
Fernando Torres continued his fine form by
scoring for the fifth consecutive game to keep Atletico level on points with
Barca with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao.
"What Barcelona did is good for them,
but all that matters to us is winning and giving our best in every game,"
said Atletico coach Diego Simeone.
However, victory also came at a cost for
Simeone's men as inspirational central defender Diego Godin also suffered the
recurrence of a hamstring problem and is now a serious doubt for their Champions
League semi-final against Bayern Munich.