Madrid Derby: Zidane praises Real Madrid display vs Atletico

Real Madrid's coach Zinedine Zidane said the team used the criticism thrown at it in recent weeks to its advantage in an emphatic 2-0 La Liga win over city rival Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Zinedine Zidane

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane emphasised that his team still had a lot of work to do to maintain consistency.   -  Getty Images

Real Madrid's coach Zinedine Zidane said the team used the criticism thrown at it in recent weeks to its advantage in an emphatic 2-0 La Liga win over city rival Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Less than two weeks ago, Real had been smarting from shock defeats by Alaves and Shakhtar Donetsk and faced a triple whammy of tough-looking fixtures against Sevilla, Borussia Moenchengladbach and Atletico, with Zidane's future on the line.

Madrid Derby: Real makes statement with 2-0 win over Atletico  

But it won all three matches, returning to the form it showed in the latter stage of last season when it stormed to the title. It is now in third place, three points behind league leader Atleti albeit having played a game more.

“We have been hurt by some of the things that have been said but they have made us stronger,” Zidane told a news conference after his side beat its neighbour with a Casemiro header and an own goal from Jan Oblak.

“Criticism is part of football and you have to learn how to cope with it. But the most important thing is that we believe in what we are doing. And today we proved that Real Madrid knows how to play.”

MATCH BLOG | La Liga highlights: Real Madrid beats Atletico Madrid 2-0

The Frenchman was in a euphoric mood and praised many of his players, with a special mention to midfield duo Toni Kroos and Luka Modric who he said were in the same form as when they led Madrid to three consecutive Champions League titles.

But he emphasised that Real still had a lot of work to do to maintain consistency.

“I'm happy with everything we did in the game. We pressed them all over the pitch and didn't let Atletico into the game. It's been a great week, I'm so glad for the players because they believe in themselves,” he added.

“We built on what we had done in the last two games and competed very well for the majority of the game. But there's nothing to celebrate because we haven't won anything yet.”

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :