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Zidane returns winning spirit to Real Madrid


Zinedine Zidane’s second spell as Real Madrid coach got off to a promising start with a 2-0 win at home to Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday.

The two goals came thanks to goals from Isco and Gareth Bale, who had fallen out of favour with previous coach Santiago Solari.

Spain midfielder Isco was handed his first start in the league since October by returning hero Zidane and broke the deadlock in the 62nd.

He only had to tap in a low cross from Karim Benzema at close range.

Luka Modric had a goal ruled out for offside earlier in the second half and Bale, who had struck the crossbar in the first period, sealed victory with a shot in off the post in the 77th minute.

The goal further lifted the mood at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real are third in the league standings with 54 points after 28 games, two behind second-placed Atletico Madrid who visit Athletic Bilbao later on Saturday.

They are nine points behind leaders Barcelona who play at Real Betis on Sunday.

This was not quite as resounding a performance as the 5-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna in Zidane’s first game as Real coach in 2016.

Yet it was still a therapeutic win for a team which had looked lost since the Frenchman announced his resignation after last year’s Champions League final.

Zidane had said on his return that changes were needed at Madrid after haphazard results had seen Julen Lopetegui sacked in October.

Lopetegui’s replacement Solari was also dismissed and the team was left with no trophies left to fighi.


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