Real Madrid made a winning return to La Liga on Sunday after beating SD Eibar 3-1 with Marcelo taking a knee as a symbolic gesture to show his support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Also Read - La Liga: Barcelona Crush Villarreal 4-1, Real Madrid Edge Past Athletic Bilbao 1-0
Marcelo, who scored Real’s third goal in the 37th minute, kneeled and raised his clinched right hand in the air for a moment in an apparent display of support to the ongoing protests against police brutality on people of colour. Also Read - La Liga: Real Madrid go Top of Standings After Beating Real Sociedad 2-1
The comprehensive win was set up by goals from Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo, who all scored in the first half itself as they again reduced the gap with leaders Barcelona to two points. Also Read - From Gaming to Working Out: La Liga Lockdown Won't Stop These Footballers
Real are playing all their home matches at Alfredo di Stefano Stadium with Santiago Bernabeu undergoing renovation.
“It’s a completely different thing to what we were experiencing before. We have to adapt,” Zidane was quoted as saying by Goal.com. “We started the game well, but it was difficult in the second half. I don’t think it was physical, because we are well prepared. It was a bit of everything. I’ll take the first half – that was dominant. It’s an important win.”
“Maybe we relaxed in the second. There was no one thing in particular. We had to make the changes: [Dani] Carvajal sprained his ankle, Ramos had discomfort too, (Eden) Hazard because he hadn’t played for a long time… I don’t think it was the changes that made the game change,” he added.
However, Hazard was substituted early in the second half and appeared to be applying ice pack around his troubled right ankle that has blighted his first season at Real.
“We knew Eden would lack a bit of rhythm to play the whole game. In the end, he played an hour and played well, too,” Zidane said. “They gave him a good knock, a scare, but that’s football. He said he was fine at the break, that he was glad he had been hit, and wasn’t afraid. He’s happy with what he did and we’re happy, also.”
Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by Athletic Bilbao to remain at sixth.