Zidane slams 'jealous' Real Madrid critics

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Following their dramatic midweek Champions League aggregate win over Juventus, Real Madrid return to La Liga action this weekend looking to continue their five-game unbeaten domestic run when they make the trip to bottom club Malaga on Sunday evening.

Casemiro, though, is sure Isco should be a part of Madrid's long-term planning, the Spain star having pushed old side Malaga - who are bottom of the table - closer to relegation.

Both those players were left out of Madrid's squad and coach Zinedine Zidane also left out Raphael Varane and Luka Modric.

"He's been an important player for Malaga and today he's crucial for Real Madrid". "We have to stop accusations like this", Zidane told a news conference on Saturday ahead of his side's Liga game at basement side Malaga on Sunday. Karim Benzema is expected to start in attack.

On 15 minutes, Mateo Kovacic broke into the box and got a head on goal which produced an excellent save from Roberto Jimenez.

Isco got the Los Blancos off to a good start in the 29th minute curling in a free-kick.

Isco warmed the hands of Jimenez with a volley from the edge of the area before Rosales fired a free kick from range over the crossbar, with Manuel Iturra forcing a great save from Keylor Navas and Ignasi Miquel also blasting over in a strong finish to the half by the hosts. Real Madrid started the second half with a gradual build-up from the back as Malaga pushed out in a bid to get the equaliser, Real Madrid nearly got the second goal after Vazquez squares in a ball for Benzema but the host defence did well to prevent Benzema from getting the second goal.

The home side's first opportunity of the second half fell to substitute Alberto Bueno just before the hour, but the striker could not beat Navas with a header. He has had many more minutes this past year.

Casemiro doubled the lead after 63 minutes - the Brazil midfielder tapping into a gaping net from Isco's cross after starting the play with a smart intervention at midfield.

The local boy left the pitch with 20 minutes remaining to a standing ovation from his former club's fans, for whom Diego Rolan's added-time goal was not much consolation with Malaga now 14 points off safety with just six games remaining.