Hazard did not play against Granada because it was a ‘difficult match’, says Real Madrid coach Zidane

The Frenchman revealed that he is cautious with the Belgian winger, who has had a nightmarish injury since moving to Spain

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has admitted he did not want to risk Eden Hazard in Wednesday’s win against Granada because it was a “tough match”.

Los Blancos won the sixth consecutive match with La Grande’s 2-0 victory over Granada at the Bernabeu, to score with league leader Atletico, who have two games in hand.

Hazard was an unused substitute as Madrid continued their positive momentum on Wednesday thanks to goals from Casemir and Karim Benzema.

This is despite the fact that Rodrygo Goes suffered an injury in the first half and Zidane decided to send Marco Asensi rather than the Belgian international.

Hazard – who joined the main club from Chelsea before the 2019-20 season – has already missed 46 games due to various injuries, including a broken foot, coronavirus and several leg muscle problems.

A thigh injury sustained in November drove Hazard away for three weeks before he returned to Zidane’s team to face Granada, but the boss of Blancos said afterwards that the 29-year-old’s return would be slowed.

“I didn’t think it was right [to bring on Hazard] because it was a tough match, “Zidane said at his post-match press conference.

“We have to do things like that at the right time. I didn’t want to take any chances again. Now we’re resting and little by little he’ll be back on the team.”

As Hazard returned to fitness, Zidane was delighted with the performance of the rest of the team, and Granada posed a significant threat on holiday, although the home team dominated most of the possessions.

The French tactician singled out Casemiro for his contribution in both attack and defense.

“The team worked really hard tonight, the game was very complex,” Zidane said.

“Granada pressed us well and made things difficult. In the second half we improved. I’m happy for the players and their sixth victory in a row, it’s not easy.”

“We know that Casemiro can attack boxing and in defense we already know his presence. The goal was wonderful, he comes from the second line. I am happy for him and for the team.”

Real Madrid’s next match comes in La Liga away against Elche on December 30th.