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Zidane: It was a crazy game but I'm happy
Editorial

Zidane: It was a crazy game but I'm happy

Real Madrid left it late against Deportivo La Coruna, but Sergio Ramos' stoppage time goal earned them a 3-2 win and all three points, which left coach Zinedine Zidane smiling.

The Frenchman rested starters such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric for the visit of the Galicians, but he insisted that their replacements performed well and showed great belief.

"It was a crazy game, but I'm happy," he said after the match.

"We suffered a lot today.

"Yet the players gave everything right to the very end."

According to the coach, every Real Madrid player on the pitch contributed to the victory, with Lucas Vazquez, Mariano and Marcelo also making a difference when they came off of the bench.

"The substitutions played their part and it was a good game from everyone," Zidane told reporters.

"I truly want to thank the players.

"I also want to thank the fans, who helped us tonight."

Speaking specifically about Ramos, who had also scored a late equaliser in El Clasico last weekend, the coach explained that his captain's late goals stem from his self-belief.

"We know that [Ramos] is capable of that," he said.

"He is someone who always thinks he can have an impact in the final moments."

Next on the agenda for the Frenchman is the Club World Cup in Japan, with Los Blancos' opening match - the semi-final - taking place on Thursday.

Zidane's Real Madrid make history: 35 games unbeaten

After snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against Deportivo La Coruna at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid side have now made history by going a club record 35 consecutive games unbeaten.

The Frenchman's side has surpassed the 1988/89 side coached by Leo Beenhakker winning 26 games and drawing nine.

With 101 goals scored, they've also beaten the total of 86 that the 'Quinta del Buitre' managed.

In those 35 matches, the team has conceded just 34 goals and the next record in sight is the 39-match unbeaten record of Luis Enrique's Barcelona from last season.

If Zidane manages to achieve that, he will only have two rivals left to overcome.

The 40 unbeaten matches of Nottingham Forest during 1977 and 78 and the absolute record of 43 set by Juventus between 2010 and 2011.

Ramos: These things happen if you fight till the end

Real Madrid were once again saved by Sergio Ramos, with the captain scoring a vital last gasp goal for the second weekend in a row.

After netting the equaliser at the Camp Nou in last weekend's El Clasico, Los Blancos' captain popped up in stoppage time to head home the winner against Deportivo La Coruna and afterwards praised his team's never-say-die attitude.

"If you fight to the very end with hope, trust and enthusiasm then this kind of thing can happen," he said after the full-time whistle.

The defender admitted that his side made some mistakes over the course of the match, but he insisted that the main objective with starters like Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric rested was to secure a positive result.

"We didn't play a great game and made mistakes," he said.

"We had a lot of first half chances that we didn't take and then we left space behind for them to take advantage on the counter.

"Yet in the end we achieved our objective, which was to take all three points.

"Now we will go and enjoy the Club World Cup."

The Spanish side's first match in the Japan-based tournament will be the semi-final, which will take place on Thursday.

Vardy back with hat-trick as Leicester shock Man City

Jamie Vardy burst back to his predatory best with his first Leicester City hat-trick as the champions recaptured their title-winning mojo to earn a shock 4-2 win over Manchester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Vardy, hero of last season's fairytale triumph, finally ended his 16-match goalscoring drought for the club by scoring twice in the first 20 minutes as the Foxes, making a nonsense of their miserable recent form, raced into a three-goal lead.

After the England striker had struck in the third minute, club stalwart Andy King put Leicester two up with only four-and-a-half minutes on the clock and Vardy was then put in beautifully by Riyad Mahrez to score his second.

He completed his first hat-trick since his non-league days at Fleetwood Town from the narrowest of angles thanks to a careless back pass from John Stones before Aleksandar Kolarov (82 minutes) and Nolito (90) scored consolation goals in a late City rally.

Cavani: I'd like to play alongside Griezmann

Impressed by his continued excellence in the striking role at Atletico Madrid, Edinson Cavani has admitted he'd like to lace up alongside Antoine Griezmann.

Although the Uruguayan is enjoying a stellar season with Paris Saint-Germain, the team have fallen well below the standards they've set for themselves in recent years.

"I would like to play a day with Antoine Griezmann," Cavani said to SFR Sport.

"But I'm sure of one thing, I'm going to defend this shirt until my last day here [in Paris]."

The striker has 20 goals this season, 14 in Ligue 1 and six in the Champions League.

"When you have confidence, you feel capable of everything, and I'm playing in the position I want," he continued, in a veiled dig at his employers who refused to play him in his preferred role when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was at the club.

PSG travel to Nice on Sunday and a win against the league leaders will give the Parisiens hope of getting back into the title race.

"If we do not win against Nice, then the situation will be complicated," Cavani concluded.

Ronaldo's new girlfriend in Bernabeu crowd

After being rested for the visit of Deportivo La Coruna, Cristiano Ronaldo watched the match from his box at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu accompanied by his new girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez.

The Portuguese is getting ready to fly out to Japan on Sunday for the Club World Cup competition, and, for a few days at least, he will be without his partner by his side.

Therefore, the game on Saturday night represented a perfect opportunity for the pair to spend some time together.

Arbeloa: Gerrard was most complete than Zidane

Former Real Madrid full-back Alvaro Arbeloa has confessed that coach Zinedine Zidane is not the most complete footballer he played with.

As a member of Spain's 2010 World Cup winning team, the 33-year-old joined West Ham United in the summer transfer window, having already earned Premier League experience with Liverpool.

Comparing former Reds captain Steven Gerrard with Zidane, Arbeloa said that the former was a complete performer and could become a coach, too.

"None of us could see Zidane as a coach and now look," he told the Guardian.

"I have been lucky. I have played with some of the best players in history, but Gerrard's the most complete. More so than Zidane.

"Could Zidane defend like [Gerrard]?

"[Gerrard] defended, he attacked, he was good in the air, he could hit it with his right [foot], with his left, he could head a corner or take it, and play everywhere."

The Spaniard also denied recent rumours that he will leave the London club and explained why there are good reasons to play in Premier League.

"One of the good things about getting older is you learn with experience and I've learnt that a season isn't September to January; what really matters is January to June, and I hope to be here," Arbeloa noted.

"I just want to help. I don't regret coming at all and the proof of that is that I don't want to go in January. I want to be here to the end of the season."

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