Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane encouraged Croatian playmaker Luka Modric to shoot more often as his first league goal of the season salvaged a 2-1 win at Granada on Sunday.
Youssef El Arabi had deservedly cancelled out Karim Benzema’s first-half opener for Real before Modric’s fantastic strike into the top corner five minutes from time kept Real just four points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona.
“Modric scored a great goal that has given us life and, above all, three points,” said Zidane.
“I am happy for him because he has to shoot more. He knows how to play in many positions, including as a number 10. Today he showed he has a fantastic strike and I am happy with him.”
However, Madrid captain Sergio Ramos insisted the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder deserves more praise even when he doesn’t find the net.
“This goal maybe makes him a bit more visible, but, the way I see football, Modric is indispensable,” said Ramos.
“He is the spine of the team and very important player for us.”
Victory was Real’s fourth in five games since Zidane took charge last month.
However, in contrast to their emphatic at form at home of late, Real once again struggled on the road and were thankful to Granada’s profligacy in front of goal.
“You also need to think that when we play away, we are playing against a team that has their fans behind them. It is normal that it is more difficult,” added Zidane.
“I was most struck by the attitude of the players. There will be no easy games, those don’t exist in football.
“You have to fight until the end and I’m happy that is what we did.”