Zidane pleads for calm as Real seek way out of slump

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The shock 1-0 defeat at home to Real Betis in midweek was their first loss of the season, but they have also drawn with Levante and Valencia.

Antonio Sanabria struck a 94th-minute victor as Real Betis stunned defending champions Real Madrid in their La Liga tie at the Santiago Bernabeu to leave Los Blancos' title hopes in tatters.

And despite welcoming Cristiano Ronaldo back from a five-game suspension, Zidane's men were unable to find a way past an inspired Antoino Adan in the Betis goal.

He played tribute to his keeper saying: "He cost us a goal two weeks ago against Villarreal so I'm really pleased for him".

The midfielder joined the La Liga champions this summer in a £16m deal from Real Betis.

He added of the Betis loss, where Antonio Sanabria struck a stoppage-time victor: "We had 27 chances and the ball didn't want to go in".

Zinedine Zidane soon rang the changes, with Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez and Borja Mayoral all introduced and the changes nearly worked immediately, only for the inspired Adan to make another fine save from Gareth Bale.

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Barca looked to have a weak squad compared to Real's, but the Blaugrana have a flawless record after five league games.

Earlier, Atletico Madrid celebrated being awarded the honour of hosting the Champions League final in 2019 with an impressive 2-1 win at Athletic Bilbao to move up to third.

Despite Madrid's disappointing start to the season, he hopes to cause his father more grief on Saturday by securing at least "a draw", as he feels that Alaves have been good for him.

"We had chances of our own throughout the game but we were tiring towards the end". We had chances and the ball didn't want to go in.

Why Real Madrid's been struggling?

"This is a bad moment for us, but I am very happy with how we are playing", Zidane added.

Betis coach Quique Setien said: "I don't know if we deserved the win but these are precious points for us. Now I'm thinking about tomorrow's game to try and do better and try to win". "We have just played a great game [3-1 at Real Sociedad]". Many people do not like this word "calm" when things go wrong, but we will stay calm, within the group.

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