MADRID (AP) — Zinedine Zidane brought the old guard back as his second stint as Real Madrid coach began with a 2-0 win against relegation-threatened Celta Vigo in the Spanish league on Saturday.
Francisco “Isco” Alarcon, who had been sidelined by former coach Santiago Solari, and Gareth Bale, a reserve before Zidane’s return, scored to help Madrid end its four-game losing streak at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Marco Asensio, another player who had few chances under Solari, set up Isco’s goal while goalkeeper Keylor Navas, back in the starting lineup, made key saves for Madrid.
Zidane’s revamped lineup also included Marcelo, another player who had succeeded under the French coach but did not play often with Solari.
The win moved Madrid within two points of second-place Atletico Madrid, which visits Athletic Bilbao later. Barcelona, which plays at Real Betis on Sunday, is seven points in front of Atletico.
Zidane received an ovation from the crowd when his name was announced before the match, and there was an upbeat atmosphere again following demoralizing home losses.
Madrid lost to Barcelona in the Copa del Rey and the Spanish league, and to Ajax in the round of 16 in the Champions League. It had also lost at home to Girona in the league.
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