Gareth Bale faces fitness test before qualifier — Georgia v Wales

Isco- Cropped

"The most important thing for him is to play and be on the pitch against Espanyol", he concluded.

Talking to the press, the Frenchman gave an update on Gareth Bale's health, Los Blancos' run of form and whether Cristiano Ronaldo would sign a contract extension with the club, Marca reports.

Isco was involved again when his long-range shot was comfortably gathered by Lopez, before Marco Asensio scuffed wide from a corner. This must be the start of a recovery for Zidane's side.

Victory on Sunday means Real have won back-to-back league games for the first time this season, and while that may have seemed minor in recent years, every win will be cherished given the team's current standing.

Zidane denied that the demanding Santiago Bernabeu crowd was affecting his team's performances. So was this the start of the recovery? They do have a home win in the Champions League and in the Spanish Super Cup, but that lack of home success in the league is holding Madrid well down the table, in a position that's left fans and players alike agitated and unsatisfied.

The Madrid boss felt the Spain attacking midfielder was wise to praise Ronaldo as an example to follow as he continues to develop.

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Espanyol - Pau 8, Lopez 6, Aaron 6, Gerard 5, Jurado 5, Baptistao 4, Lopez 6, Fuego 5, Roca 5, Hermoso 7, Sanchez 5, Dardar 7.

Sergio Garcia and Marc Navarro both came off the Espanyol bench at the interval, and the latter had a wonderful chance to level the scores in the 50th minute after being set up by Darder, but the Spaniard saw his attempt saved by Keylor Navas.

Marcelo will likely be replaced by Nacho Fernandez, while Gareth Bale has Lucas Vazquez and Marcos Asensio who have proven to be more than capable of replacing him.

30' GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Espanyol: Real Madrid have made the breakthrough on the half hour mark! The hosts have the lead! That would have been a remarkable development.

Ramos had Real Madrid's final chance of the match in stoppage time, but the centre-back headed a Ronaldo cross wide of the post as it finished 2-0 on the night.

Zidane is confident the Portugal global, still waiting for his first goal of a LaLiga campaign that got off to a delayed start due to a five-match suspension, will not be distracted ahead of Sunday's match with Espanyol.

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