Xenia Sports – London
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane immediately turned his attention to the vital Champions League showdown with Borussia Monchengladbach after a morale-boosting LaLiga win at Sevilla.
Keeper Bono’s own goal handed Real the points at the Ramon Sanchez Pijuan Stadium to end a two-game losing run for the visitors and set them up for Wednesday’s make-or-break clash with the Germans, who lead Group B by a point with the Spaniards locked together with Tuesday night’s conquerors Shakhtar Donetsk.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Zidane said: “It is important for the next game. It was important for us to build, to play a good game again.
“It is important. The last few days have been difficult, but this is a team that has character, that always wants challenges and this victory is very important for what is to come.
“All the games are going to be important to us and we know that from time to time we have difficulties and we have to fix some things. When we fix it we can be very competitive like today.”
Real enjoyed the better of the first half in Seville, but could not find a way past Bono until he inadvertently gave them a helping hand.
Vinicius Junior just managed to get a touch to Ferland Mendy’s left-wing cross, and the keeper could only help the ball into his own net as he tried in vain to keep it out.
The visitors had to defend determinedly as time ran down with substitute Suso coming closest to snatching a point, but there was no way back.
Zidane said: “Sometimes when you don’t have the ball, it is important to defend together strongly, not only (central defenders) Nacho and Rafa (Varane) – which is what they did – but everyone.
“That way we can do great things and today we played a great game.”
Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui was left to rue the error which handed Real victory.
He said: “The assessment of a defeat is always negative, obviously even more so when I think we have deserved to achieve something more.
“We had some chances, some shots, but the reality is that they scored from the only mistake we made and from there, they have achieved the win.
“In the second half, we were clearly superior to Real Madrid football-wise, but not in terms of the most important thing, and that is effectiveness.”