Zidane happy with second-string Copa XI


Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane was happy with the performance of his fringe players in Thursday’s 3-0 win over Numancia in the Copa del Rey.

Lucas Vazquez won two penalties, converted by Gareth Bale and Isco, before Borja Mayoral added gloss in stoppage time of a match that they were somewhat fortunate to have won.

"This was not an easy place to come, they have been playing well," Zidane said. "They made it tough for us, but we got a good result.

"Many of these are players who do not play so often. And they did very well, against a team who did not give up. I am happy for the players who played a serious game and achieved something good.

"The tie is never over, we must play another serious game in the second leg. In the second half we had some problems, above all when they were down to 10. But in general, I am happy."

The match against Segunda Division opposition was a chance for players like Lucas Vazquez, Marco Llorente, Dani Ceballos, Jesus Vallejo, and Nacho to get game time, but it also saw Bale make his first start since September.

"It was important to see how he felt," said Zidane of the the injury-hit Welsh winger. "In the end he played an hour, without problems, feeling physically well. So we will continue like this. We want him to play regularly now."