Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has admitted that his side were second best for much of Saturday's 2-1 win over Eibar at the Estadio Municipal De Ipura, and praised match hero Cristiano Ronaldo, after the Ballon d'Or holder increased his goal-scoring tally to 18 for the season with a double.
The visitors took the lead against the run of play in the 34th minute, when Ronaldo chested down Luka Modric's lofted through ball and fired past Marko Dmitrovic.
Eibar clawed back a deserved equaliser five minutes after the break, centre back Ivan Ramis jumping highest to nod Joan Jordan's corner delivery past Keylor Navas.
The home side pushed for a winner but wasted a number of good chances before Los Blancos snatched all three points late on when Ronaldo headed Dani Carvajal's cross past Dmitrovic for his and Real's second goal of the game.
"You've got to recognise the performance from Éibar, who put in a great display. They were the better team. They were excellent, particularly in the first half. It's a tough place to come and they're a good side that are enjoying a super season," Zidane said after the game, as quoted by Real Madrid's official website.
"We knew that we'd have to dig in, and although we struggled when on the ball, we fought together and showed good spirit to get the win. We're pleased with today."
After the victory, Real closed the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona to 12 points. However, the gap has since been stretched back to 15 points, following Barca's 2-0 away victory over Malaga. Nevertheless, Los Blancos boss Zidane still believes that his side remain in the hunt for the title.
"We've still got a chance of winning La Liga and that'll be the case until the end of the season. It'll be tough, but sometimes, if you drop you guard you are made to pay. The important thing is to keep moving forward.
"We need to keep putting wins on the board if we want to achieve anything, that is what we will try to do. Today we managed it. We must enjoy this win, rest up for a few days, something we have not done for a while, and then focus on the Girona game."
Regarding Ronaldo, who has now scored 13 goals in his last seven games in all competitions,
Zidane said: "He's from another planet. He knows that he's going to score, he's very positive. He's a different and special player. His stats speak for themselves. He's a very good player and he's ours."