Despite the absence of the Colombian, Madrid won the match 1-0, taking the victory thanks to a penalty kick by Sergio Ramos, which came after the blow was awarded according to the results of the VAR review. J

James was close to leaving Real this summer

Real Madrid’s manager Zinedine Zidane said James Rodriguez wanted to remain out of sight of the leaders of the LaLiga against Athletic Club on Sunday. Despite the absence of the Colombian, Madrid won the match 1-0, taking the victory thanks to a penalty kick by Sergio Ramos. Which came after the blow was awarded according to the results of the VAR review. James was closely associated with leaving Bernabeu this summer. Speaking just 14 times for the capital side in all competitions this season. He wanted to be left aside for his reasons,” Zidane told the media after the victory that secured his side opening an advantage of seven points. At the summit of the standings ahead of rivals Barcelona, who gave a game extra to play.

Zidane: Real players deserve respect

“The reasons are between us, and I’m not going to tell you any more.” Meanwhile, Ramos scored his third penalty in two weeks, all of which were decisive in Madrid victories, Zidane disappointedly responded to allegations that Los Blancos were benefiting from match officials. “I’m tired of hearing that we won because of the judges,” he said. “It’s not going to change, but the players deserve respect. Nobody is going to take our thoughts off our goal.” I like our strength the most. We show firmness and balance when we lose the ball, and everything is very good with us. “We’ve lacked the spark in the attack, and we can improve, but our defensive strength is so important.”

Eight points from the last four games will be enough to seal the title for Madrid, and while the first domestic crown from 2016-17 is at a touching distance, nothing is being taken for granted. “Until it is mathematically won, we cannot relax or think about the name,” the 1998 World Cup Winner said: “It is a crucial victory, a hard game with great intensity.”