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Zidane praises ‘brilliant’ Real after first win in Dortmund

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane shakes hands with Gareth Bale after he is substituted off during the match against Borussia Dortmund. ― Reuters picReal Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane shakes hands with Gareth Bale after he is substituted off during the match against Borussia Dortmund. ― Reuters picDORTMUND, Sept 27 ― They may be stumbling at the start of La Liga but European champions Real Madrid were “brilliant” in their 3-1 victory over in-form Borussia Dortmund, coach Zinedine Zidane said yesterday.

Real, who have dropped to sixth in the Spanish league, seven points off leaders Barcelona after six matches, were in sparkling European form, outclassing the Germans who had conceded just one goal in their first six Bundesliga matches.

It was also Real's first win at Dortmund after three defeats and three draws.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who last week started his first league game of the season following suspension, scored twice and Gareth Bale added another as they punished the Germans for giving them too much space.

“We played a great game from start to finish. We could have scored more. We had chances,” said Zidane, who has led Real to first ever back-to-back Champions League titles in the past two seasons.

“We had a spectacular game, a brilliant game. The important thing is to score more than our opponents and we did that.

“I am delighted for Ronaldo and Bale. The side worked hard. The midfield worked very hard. I am extremely happy because they played a tremendous game.”

The Frenchman praised his players for a focused and disciplined performance and for not losing their cool when Dortmund pulled a goal back early in the second half to make it 2-1 and set up a nerve-wracking final 25 minutes.

“We started well, the first half was brilliant as was the second. We showed authority. We had some difficult moments after the break but we played them out. It was perfect,” Zidane said.

Real are on six points from two games in Group H, along with Tottenham Hotspur, who beat APOEL Nicosia 3-0 in Cyprus. ― Reuters

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