Zidane allays Ronaldo injury fears after Madrid derby substitution

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Ronaldo followed his outrageous bicycle kick strike against Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday by breaking the deadlock in an entertaining contest in the 53rd minute.

Up next is a clash with second-placed Atletico Madrid on Sunday, who lead Real in La Liga by four points, before facing Juventus again, in their quarter-final second leg.

Asked whether his team-mates were the players happier with a point, France forward Griemzann replied: "Well, yes, but we wanted to win".

Madrid struck the woodwork in the first half through Marco Asensio and Marcelo, while both goalkeepers Keylor Navas and Jan Oblak were busy in the second half. Our duty is to give our all in every game and reduce the gap as much as we can.

Zidane then raised eyebrows by making an apparently pre-planned substitution, as Karim Benzema came on for Ronaldo.

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"Atletico deserve to be where they are in the standings and all we can do is make up some ground on them". Diego Simeone's side won the first leg 2-0 and face a team that suspended 19 of their players after a spat with most of the first team, per the Guardian. We did early in the second half, but then we had 10 minutes after the goal which were a bit hard, and then they scored the goal.

Levante took a big step toward avoiding demotion by defeating Las Palmas 2-1 with an injury-time victor by Jose Campana, opening an eight-point gap to the relegation zone with seven matches left. We know what a good player he is and what he has done. "And we never like to take risks. If not we will see what we do".

Madrid's current boss Zidane is expected to remain at the club if he wins the Champions League, but the club's poor league form has put his position under threat.

"I don't like hearing that, not at all", he said.

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC.