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Zinedine Zidane 'cannot explain' Real Madrid's scoring woes

Zinedine Zidane 'cannot explain' Real Madrid's scoring woes
From ESPN - January 13, 2018

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said he could not explain his team's continuing struggles in front of goal, after another setback in Saturday afternoon's 1-0 La Liga defeat at home to Villarreal.

The first 45 minutes brought a Gareth Bale header correctly ruled out for offside, a Cristiano Ronaldo free kick tipped onto the crossbar by Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo, and a Ronaldo penalty claim turned down.

After the break, ex-Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Asensio saved from Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, and Zidane's side reached 28 shots without finding the net. Before with four minutes remaining Villarreal broke and midfielder Pablo Fornals lifted a sweet chip over Keylor Navas to put the visitors on the way to their first-ever league win at the Bernabeu.

With his team still 16 points behind runaway La Liga leaders Barcelona, and having won just one of their last five games in all competitions, the Los Blancos coach told the postgame news conference that his team had done everything they could.

"The first thing is it is difficult," Zidane said. "We did everything, we had many chances to score in the game, and the ball did not want to go in. You cannot explain that.

"It is a bad run, which continues, so it is difficult for my players. I cannot reproach my players for what they have done. It is a difficult defeat as we did not deserve this blow today."

Combined with the 3-0 El Clasico loss to Barcelona last month, Real Madrid have now failed to score in consecutive home games in La Liga for the first time since February 2007, one of which was a draw. The last time Real Madrid were shut out in consecutive home league defeats came in May 2000.

After Madrid broke their own mark with the most shots of any team in La Liga this season with 28 -- including 11 efforts from misfiring galactico Cristiano Ronaldo -- Zidane said his team needed a big win to lift confidence and the gloom around the club.

"Within all the negative you must look for the positive," Zidane said. "We had many good things, and now we are living a hard moment. We can change this, get out of this, by winning games, and winning well.

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