Zidane: We never gave up

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane praised his side's character as they fought from a goal down to beat Sporting 2-1 in the dying minutes of their Champions League Group F opener on Wednesday night.

Bruno Cesar had given the Portuguese club a 47th minute lead and after Cristiano Ronaldo looked to have secured a point with his expertly-dispatched free-kick in the 89th minute, second-half substitute Alvaro Morata popped up with a dramatic 94th minute winner.

Speaking to the club's official website after the match, a delighted Zidane said: "We put in a tremendous effort and we believed right until the end.

"I'm happy that we got the three points. They made things difficult for us, but we didn't give up. The important thing was to put points on the board. With the substitutions, I was looking for them to give us something else and they did that. I'm pleased with James, Lucas and Morata.

He added: "In the first 80 minutes, we played well too. We faced a team that fought hard, particularly in the first half. After the first goal we played better, we were more dominant and got into good positions in attack. When you play in the opposition's half it's different.

"We're Real Madrid and we know that every game will be tough and that our opponents will make it hard for us. We didn't ever thrown the towel in and that's important.

"The effort put in was tremendous. When you win a game in this manner it means a lot to the squad.

"That's what I take away with me and I go home with a smile on my face and feeling very relaxed. We can't win all of our games 5-0. Today we had to dig in, but we got the three points."

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