Sep 26, 2016

    Zidane adamant about substituting angry Ronaldo


    REAL Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insisted Cristiano Ronaldo has to learn to live with being substituted after sulking off the field visibly frustrated in the European champions' 2-2 draw at Las Palmas.

    Zidane replaced the three-time World Player of the Year with Madrid leading 2-1 18 minutes from time, but an unhappy Ronaldo watched from the bench as Sergio Araujo equalised to ensure Real dropped points for the second time in four days.

    "I have to take him off sometimes and tonight we did it," said Zidane.

    At the forefront of Zidane's mind was Real's huge Champions League clash away to Borussia Dortmund tomorrow.

    However, Ronaldo endured a poor night in front of goal as he fluffed a great chance from Alvaro Morata's cut-back before half-time and fired straight at Javi Varas in the build-up to Madrid's second goal.

    Zidane added: "I know he always wants to play and always wants to stay on the field, but I also have to think about the players and for me it was best to rest and think about Tuesday."

    Ronaldo has completed 90 minutes just twice this season, though, as he was also replaced early on his return from a knee ligament injury against Osasuna earlier this month and missed last weekend's win at Espanyol due to illness.

    Elsewhere, Barcelona shrugged off the absence of Lionel Messi to move to the top of La Liga as Luis Suarez and Neymar were on target in a 5-0 thrashing of Sporting Gijon.

    The hosts enjoyed the better of the opening half-hour, but were hit by a two-goal Barca burst in three minutes as Suarez rounded Ivan Cuellar to slot home the opener before Rafinha headed home a second.

    Sporting were reduced to 10 men 16 minutes from time when Alberto Lora saw a second yellow card and Barca made their man advantage count as a Neymar double and Arda Turan rounded off the scoring in the final 10 minutes.