Zinedine Zidane said he was “very proud” of his Real Madrid players as they came from behind to defeat Barcelona 2-1 in El Clasico at Camp Nou.
Barcelona led the way with a Gerard Pique header, but Madrid hit back with a stunning Karim Benzema equalizer before Cristiano Ronaldo created a brilliant winner.
Sergio Ramos was sent to Madrid shortly before Ronaldo’s strike, but Madrid was a well-deserved winner, with Gareth Bale’s header controversially disallowed.
Madrid’s victory ended a streak of 23 La Liga matches without a loss for Barcelona, leaving Zidane’s side just seven points behind their rivals in the title chase.
“Very proud of what the players have done, this is not an easy ground, very pleased with everything, not just the score,” Zidane told reporters.
“These are [only] three points. Now we have to think about resting well and the next game in the Champions League.”
Real Madrid faced Wolfsburg in the first leg of their quarter-final Champions League on Wednesday, but Zidane was content to win Clasico for the time being.
“When I see us like that, together, giving everything to your teammates, to a coach who is the best,” he said.
“I liked everything about my team-in attack and defense. We made a big effort against really strong players. Our start wasn’t that good, but it was better to start hard and finish well as we did. Defensively, we played a big game against really good players. They could do you harm with little room, and we managed that well. We’re on our way, planning for the end of the season. We know that we can do important stuff in the Champions League.”
“This could be a turning point. It’s really important, for the rest of the season, for our spirit. We’ve got to go step by step. We’ve got to pass Atletico first, we’re still third. Then we’ll see what happens.”