Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane described his side’s first-half display in their 3-2 win against Levante as “phenomenal” as he watched his side storm into a 3-0 lead at half-time after two more goals from Karim Benzema and Casemiro’s effort.
“We’ve taken all three points after a phenomenal first-half performance, full of goals, good football and desire,” Zidane told a post-match press conference.
“In the second half we had chances to score goals but we just didn’t quite have it physically.
“I’m not looking for excuses, but it’s true that we had many players out and others who haven’t had much rest.”
Eden Hazard made his long-awaited debut off the bench as a second-half replacement for Casemiro and Zidane was impressed.
“He’s very direct, he’s superb with the ball at his feet and all he needs is a few more training sessions under his belt,” Zidane added.
“Hazard will bring us an awful lot. He’s not ready to start games yet because he’s only completed four sessions.”
Benzema scored his third and fourth LaLiga goals of the season before he was replaced by Luka Jovic in the closing stages.
“All I can say is, I hope he keeps this up,” Zidane added. “It’s important for us to have Karim playing like this. We’re pleased, we noticed the fans’ ovation.”
Zidane glossed over the fact that Real ran out of steam in the second half and were left hanging on after Levante hit back through Borja Mayoral and Gonzalo Melero.
A similar performance in midweek in Paris against Paris Saint-Germain could be a series dent into Madrid’s Champions League hopes for this season