Published: Mon, February 26, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Zinedine Zidane lauds Cristiano Ronaldo selflessness after Real Madrid crush Alaves

Zinedine Zidane lauds Cristiano Ronaldo selflessness after Real Madrid crush Alaves

"At the end of the day, we will need all our players for these coming months".

The reigning champions' title hopes are all but over, with Madrid 11 points adrift of leaders Barcelona in third, but a run of four straight wins has ended any worries of missing out on a Champions League spot.

Sergio Ramos is suspended against Alaves, while Marcelo, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are all fighting to shake off injuries ahead of the PSG second leg on March 6.

Real Madrid are expected to pursue a deal for Chelsea's Eden Hazard in the summer.

Asensio was absent from Real's training session on Friday morning because he was at the dentist having a troublesome wisdom tooth removed.

The victory moved the champions within four points of second-placed Atletico Madrid.

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Cristiano Ronaldo was rested at Leganes but could return as Madrid look to extend a run that has seen them take 16 points from a possible 18.

"The gesture of Cristiano is very important", Zidane said.

"We will see [if Bale stays on the left] I wanted to see Gareth in this position, then we will see in the following games". Manager Fernandez is likely to continue with the 4-4-2 setup at the Bernabeu, but there will be changes expected from the side that beat Deportivo La Coruna 1-0 in their previous game. "Maybe we needed a game like that". Though he has endured a hard time in the Spanish capital in terms of fitness issues, he has proved to be a key player in his side at vital moments, netting in the 2014 European Cup final to win La Decima as well as the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona that same year. Over their last seven matches, Real has scored an absurd 26 goals.

Alaves' winger Ibai Gomez fancies playing against Real Madrid and has scored three times against them in the La Liga.

However, instead of taking the kick himself as would normally be the case, Ronaldo deferred responsibility to Benzema and the under-pressure Frenchman got the goal his performance deserved. And we at the Hard Tackle expect the Merengues to make light work of their Basque opponents, beating them 3-1 on Saturday.

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