Zidane Uncertain, On Bale’s Future After Narrow Win Over Eibar

Zidane Uncertain, On Bale’s Future After Narrow Win Over Eibar

Zidane Uncertain, On Bale’s Future After Narrow Win Over Eibar

But Benzema levelled up in the second half, heading in Marco Asensio's cross.

Benzema - who arrived from Lyon in 2009 - has scored 17 La Liga goals this season and four in his past three league games, earning praise from Zidane.

Zidane has often been asked in recent weeks about the future of Bale and the Frenchman has done little to hush the stories claiming he wants to leave the club.

Surely it is not a surprise that Real Madrid have had a substandard season following the loss of two of the most influential figures in their dressing room.

"He's always been crucial for the team", Zidane said of his French compatriot. "We have a month and half of the season still to go, and what I see in every game will be useful to me".

Madrid's big players at least reacted to an terrible first half by upping the intensity after the break to turn the game around, as has happened in each of the three home games since Zinedine Zidane returned as coach.

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Hazard has been in good form for Chelsea FC this season, scoring 14 goals and making 12 assists in 31 Premier League games for Maurizio Sarri's side. "People's perception of him has changed as a result, but he's always been a crucial player".

Madrid remained in third place, 13 points behind leader Barcelona, who beat second-placed Atletico Madrid 2-0.

"At halftime Zidane told us to show character and be more confident".

He rested captain Sergio Ramos and dropped Toni Kroos and Casemiro to the bench in favour of inexperienced Uruguayan midfieder Federico Valverde, while bringing Spanish youngster Sergio Reguilon back in for the suspended Marcelo.

The hosts had the ball in the back of the net after 11 minutes when through Bale's close-range strike, however the Welshman's effort was ruled out for offside.

Benzema should have completed his hat-trick late on but one finish was palmed away by Dmitrovic and another, with the goal gaping, looped over.

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