Zinedine Zidane hailed Real Madrid’s second string for overpowering Granada on Saturday as “it’s the best news for a Coach.”
Only Sergio Ramos and Casemiro were Madrid’s regular starters at Granada, but Los Blancos’ so-called ‘Plan B’ raced to a 4-0 lead inside the opening 35 minutes and comfortably held on to win by the same margin.
“An easy game? As always, you have to prove it,” the Frenchman said after the game.
“We started well, scoring quickly, and that made things easier. We had a phenomenal first half, we took the chances we had.
“We picked up another three points, and that was important. Now we have three finals left and another in the Champions League on Wednesday.
“Atleti? Today, we thought of today and we all did well. The idea is that everyone gets minutes, everyone’s very well physically and at this point it’s very important because we’re playing for everything.
“It’s been nine months of hard work, there are times when you end up on your knees, but we can say that physically we’re all okay.
“Barca? It doesn’t matter what they do, we’re only thinking about ourselves and winning.
“Now we’ll rest, we’ll think of Wednesday, which will demand much more of us than today and we’ll have to play the perfect match.
“Playing three No 9s [Benzema, Morata and Mariano]? The game was done and I wanted Mariano to play, it’s important that everyone plays.
“Plan B? For a Coach, it’s the best news. It means that everyone is plugged in and they’ll do well.
“I can only be satisfied. There are players with less minutes who always contribute.
“My XI? I have to think about what we did. We’re happy with the result, and tomorrow we’ll start thinking about Atletico.
“We know it’ll be more demanding on Wednesday, but today we can only be satisfied and rest.
“The Champions League or La Liga easier? What a question! There’s still three League finals left and one on Wednesday to reach the Champions League final, but we’re focused.
“James and Morata? It’s not just them. It can be said of everyone who plays less. What they do is phenomenal, considering they get less minutes.
“It’s not easy and it’s the fruits of everyone’s work, especially the players. After nine months, you play for everything. If in the end, you’re tired …
“Here, it’s quite the opposite. We’re very good physically and that’s good news.
“A first double since 1958? I haven’t been dreaming about it. I’m only thinking about Wednesday’s game. We’ll see later. We have to rest and get to work tomorrow.
“I’m not thinking about the double at all. At the moment it’s not a reality.
“James more committed now? No, he’s always been committed. He’s always trying to do his best.
“He brings what he has to the team and when he plays, he does well.
“When you score a goal in two minutes, everything becomes easier. It wasn’t easy for Granada.
“When you don’t have anything to play for, it’s complicated. Our game at the start was perfect. I was expecting Granada to play like they did.”