Zinedine Zidane: Real Madrid have rediscovered scoring form
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said he felt his team had played their way back into goal-scoring form after Saturday afternoon's 5-0 La Liga stroll past Sevilla at the Bernabeu.
With this result following the 3-1 victory in Wednesday's Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund, the Blancos coach told the postgame news conference that the goal-scoring problems which had hampered their form through the autumn were now behind them.
"I hope things have changed now, and we can keep going like this, scoring goals," Zidane said. "Two games, eight goals, we must keep going like this. We are improving in all ways, also in how we are playing, which is the most important for us."
Madrid were ahead inside three minutes through centre-back Nacho Fernandez's neat turn and shot, with Ronaldo making it 2-0 midway through the first half with an expert finish from a sublime Marco Asensio assist, and the five-time career Ballon d'Or winner soon getting his second from the penalty spot after a Jesus Navas handball.
With Sevilla in disarray, Toni Kroos was able to carry the ball 50 yards on the break before netting from 15 yards, and another counter-attack ended with teenage right-back Achraf Hakimi clipping home confidently for 5-0 before half-time.
"To score five goals today against Sevilla is not easy at all," Zidane said. "I am happy for Cristiano's goals, for the players who had not had many minutes until now and did very well. We are happy with how we played, the goals, the game in general."
Zidane said he felt his team's play had been improving through recent weeks, even if the goals had not previously been flowing.
"We have been playing well for four or five games now," he said. "That is the most important thing for me, as that way things arrive, like today for example. We know we must keep going with our work. This game does not mean anything. We must be just as motivated on Wednesday. If we take our chances like today we will have more chances to win the game."
On Sunday, Madrid head to Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup, where they will play hosts Al Jazira in Wednesday's semifinal.
"It was very important to win today, before we travelled, to prepare for Wednesday's game," Zidane said. "Everyone thinks it will be easy, but for me there are no easy games. We can think now about Wednesday. We travel tomorrow and we want to do things well to try and win another trophy."
Zidane said that the injured Raphael Varane and Gareth Bale would travel to the Middle East, not remain in Madrid to ensure they are fit for the La Liga Clasico at home to Barcelona on Dec. 23.
"We will see -- they will travel with us," he said. "Then it is about the day-to-day there. They will train with us normally on Tuesday. Then we will see what we do with them. We will not force anything."
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan