Zidane blasts snow-hit pitch as Actual Madrid held

Zinedine Zidane mentioned Actual Madrid’s goalless draw with Osasuna on Saturday was “not a soccer match” and will have been known as off after Spain was hit by a snowstorm.

Madrid missed the possibility to overhaul Atletico Madrid on the prime of La Liga and allowed Barcelona to creep nearer after Lionel Messi scored twice in a 4-Zero victory over Granada.

Atletico’s match at house to Athletic Bilbao earlier on Saturday was postponed as a result of snow, that means Diego Simeone’s aspect are prime with three video games in hand over their rivals.

Osasuna’s pitch in Pamplona was definitely affected by the snowfall, particularly within the center third, however massive components had been inexperienced and the referee determined the sport ought to go forward.

“We performed the sport as a result of they informed us to play the sport however the situations had been very tough,” mentioned Zidane.

“For me this was not a soccer match. Ultimately we performed, and that is it.”

Actual Madrid are attributable to play Athletic Bilbao in Malaga on Thursday within the Spanish Tremendous Cup semi-finals.

“We do not know what we’ll do now, whether or not we keep right here tomorrow or if we’ll journey on Monday, we’ll see.”

Zidane added: “It isn’t an excuse. What everybody desires to see is a soccer match and right now the situations weren’t met to see a soccer match.”

Messi scored twice towards Granada to make it 4 targets in three matches for him for the reason that flip of the yr and his resurgence has coincided with an upturn for the workforce too, this victory Barca’s third on the bounce.

“We’re calmer,” mentioned Barca coach Ronald Koeman. “We now have to remain humble, to maintain working and profitable.”

Messi’s double, the second a sweetly-struck free-kick, got here between two strikes from Antoine Griezmann, who can be having fun with a revival after a disappointing 18 months at Camp Nou.

Some had puzzled if Messi would ever get again to his finest following an underwhelming begin to the season however his newest contribution makes him the league’s prime scorer on 11 targets, 5 months after he tried to go away.

– ‘Good Messi interplay’ –

“From day one, my interactions with Leo have been good,” mentioned Koeman. “We’re used to this, if there are a few video games the place he does not rating, there shall be a few individuals who shall be sad, however not me, by no means.”

Koeman deserves credit score for the rejuvenation of gamers like Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Frenkie de Jong, all of whom have improved considerably in latest matches.

Barcelona’s restoration has a protracted approach to run, with unresolved points on and off the pitch prone to resurface earlier than the tip of the season.

But Koeman will hope a nook has been turned and at a superb time, with the Champions League final 16 tie towards Paris Saint-Germain to return subsequent month and a big chunk of the league calendar nonetheless remaining.

Barca’s first purpose was lucky, after Roberto Soldado’s lashed clearance noticed the ball sliced backwards to Griezmann, who touched and shot previous Rui Silva.

Griezmann was the instigator for the second too, the Frenchman driving ahead to the sting of the world earlier than transferring inside to Messi. Messi was given the yard he wanted to shift onto his left foot and curl house.

Messi made it three from an analogous place, simply on the sting of the field, this time with a free-kick, which he harpooned into the nook.

Griezmann added a fourth by firing in a scooped cross from Dembele on the flip. Messi went off with nearly half an hour left, his work already accomplished, whereas Granada’s Jesus Vallejo was despatched off late on.

Granada was spared the terrible situations that swept throughout a lot of the nation, with the snowfall in Madrid on Friday the heaviest since 1971.

In Pamplona, Actual Madrid struggled to interrupt down a decided Osasuna defence.

Karim Benzema went closest after he scrambled the ball in, solely to be known as offside.

Atletico’s recreation at house to Athletic Bilbao was postponed after Bilbao’s gamers had been unable to land and returned to Bilbao early on Friday night.

Sevilla had been capable of play towards Actual Sociedad and received a five-goal thriller 3-2, with Youssef En-Nesyri grabbing a hat-trick on the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Defeat means Actual Sociedad have received solely one in all their final six matches. They drop to fifth, degree on factors with Sevilla.

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