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Zidane and Madrid must be cautious

Real Madrid
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Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid must be cautious in Dortmund

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has explained why he took Cristiano Ronaldo off against Las Palmas.

Zinedine Zidane has shown a few indisputable qualities since he took over as Real Madrid's coach last January.

He knows how to motivate his squad, understands how important fitness is and has demonstrated he will give a chance to those who work hard. Casemiro, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez, now playing quality minutes over more expensive signings, make this point clear.

Last Saturday's 2-2 draw at Las Palmas brought a new element of his coaching persona. Until then, even in desperate...

Zidane gets subs right as Madrid held; Griezmann keeps Atletico in title race

Zinedine Zidane says he was thinking about Real Madrid's next match when he subbed Cristiano Ronaldo against Las Palmas.

Five thoughts from the weekend's La Liga action as Real Madrid slip up, Barcelona win easily and Atletico Madrid grind out three more points.

1. Zidane did get his subs right

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane got his substitutions spot on during Saturday's trip to Las Palmas, even if the final result of 2-2 did not obviously suggest as much.

After Los Blancos youngster Marco Asensio and the Canary Islands' midfielder Tana had swapped first-half goals, Zidane made an attacking change at 1-1,...

 By Rob Train

Zidane rolls the dice with Benzema sub but Madrid drop points at Las Palmas

Real Madrid looked to have the three points in the bag, until a late equalizer sent Las Palmas into a frenzy, and split the points.

Real Madrid were held to a second consecutive La Liga draw on Saturday, a 2-2 result against a Las Palmas side that continued their eye-catching start to the season.

Zinedine Zidane's visitors took the lead through Marco Asensio before Tana levelled for the hosts. Substitute Karim Benzema looked to have secured all three points when he scored in the 67th minute, but Sergio Araujo bundled the ball over the line with minutes remaining to earn Quique Setien's adventurous team a deserved point.

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Real MadridReal Madrid
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Positives

The...

 By Rob Train

Controversial Sergio Ramos embodies Real Madrid's spirit better than anyone

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol assesses how Real Madrid must take the good with the bad when it comes to Sergio Ramos.

Real Madrid's 1-1 draw with Villarreal wasn't a huge surprise; it was the fourth time the sides have shared the points in their past eight Liga meetings.

What was even less surprising was the identity of the main protagonist at the Bernabeu. Sergio Ramos conceded a first-half penalty and then popped up at the other end to head home a vital equaliser that maintained his side's unbeaten start to the season and his coach's record of 17 games without a loss stretching back to the derby match against...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Barcelona's Lionel Messi injured, Man United get City in EFL Cup

ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes breaks down the latest from the social media world, including the hysteria over Lionel Messi's injury.
Luis Enrique recalls Barcelona's experience playing without Lionel Messi, and has confidence his team can persevere.
ESPN FC's Paolo Bandini discusses how Lionel Messi's injury in the match against Atletico Madrid will affect Barcelona.

Here are the latest stories for Thursday.

BARCELONA: Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has said football will "lose" without Lionel Messi, after the club confirmed on Wednesday that the Argentine superstar will miss the next three weeks with a groin injury he sustained in their 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid.

Luis Suarez has snapped back at Filipe Luis after the defender uploaded a photo on social media revealing a stud mark supposedly left by the Uruguayan forward.

MAN UNITED: Jose...

Another Jekyll and Hyde display from Sergio Ramos, Atleti-Barca all square

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol assesses how Real Madrid must take the good with the bad when it comes to Sergio Ramos.

Five quick thoughts from Tuesday and Wednesday night's dramatic action in La Liga.

1. Ramos is gonna Ramos

Sergio Ramos was everywhere -- for better or worse -- as Real Madrid slipped up by drawing 1-1 at home to Villarreal early on Wednesday evening.

After Madrid had played a poor first half, Ramos threw both his arms at Manu Trigueros' shot and visiting captain Bruno Soriano panenka-ed in the penalty. This made it three spot kicks conceded in seven games (all competitions) this season for the...