It hurts, says Zinedine Zidane after first defeat on return as Real Madrid boss

Updated: Apr 05, 2019, 16:25 IST | AFP | Madrid

The last time Zidane left Bale on the bench, the Welshman proved a spectacular substitute against Liverpool in the Champions League final 10 months ago but there was to be no rescue act at Mestalla

Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane dropped Gareth Bale and endured his first defeat since returning to Real Madrid as his side were deservedly beaten 2-1 by a resurgent Valencia on Wednesday.

The last time Zidane left Bale on the bench, the Welshman proved a spectacular substitute against Liverpool in the Champions League final 10 months ago but there was to be no rescue act at Mestalla.

Instead, Valencia surged to a convincing victory, Goncalo Guedes and Ezequiel Garay scoring in each half to leave Marcelino's team within a point of La Liga's top four. Karim Benzema headed in a late consolation in injury-time.

"We lacked a bit of spark up front," Zidane said. "I am not going to criticise my players. They have tried and we played a good team. But losing always hurts." For Zidane, after two victories, this was perhaps something of a reality check.

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