Zinedine Zidane insisted Eden Hazard’s form is nothing to be concerned about after the Belgian put in a disappointing performance in Real Madrid’s 1-0 Champions League defeat of Galatasaray.
Hazard’s adaptation to life at Madrid has not been as smooth as the two parties would have hoped following his blockbuster move from Premier League side Chelsea in pre-season.
While fitness issues have certainly had an impact, Hazard’s performances have left a lot to be desired and he has managed just the solitary goal in seven appearances across all competitions.
He should have scored at least once against Galatasaray in Istanbul on Tuesday and was guilty of a particularly bad miss in the second half, hitting the crossbar with the goal at his mercy after skipping past goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.
Hazard did at least get an assist, albeit fortuitously as his pass was seemingly meant for Karim Benzema rather than goal-scorer Toni Kroos, though head coach Zidane still had to answer questions on the winger.
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“It doesn’t worry me,” Zidane said. “He’s better and he’s going to improve more.
“The important thing is that he continues to have chances, because he’s going to put them in.”
Another much-maligned Belgian at the club is goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, but he produced one of his better performances in a Madrid shirt, making several vital saves and Zidane applauded him.
“He has clearly saved us in the first half,” Zidane said of Courtois. “We are happy for him and for the whole team – he needed that kind of match as well. He allowed us to get all three points.
“There is always a lot of criticism when we lose and today we won, we played with personality and the players have deserved the victory.”
The win leaves Madrid second in Group A, five points adrift of pacesetters Paris Saint-Germain, who have won all three matches.
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