Real Madrid beat Villarreal 3-2 on Sunday afternoon despite Zinedine Zidane rotating his side with some big names getting a rest, and the French manager remained coy regarding the implications of Gareth Bale's absence from the matchday squad.
Two goals from Mariano Diaz and another from 22-year-old Jesus Vallejo gave Los Blancos the win despite the Yellow Submarine scoring right at the death to make the final few seconds nervy for Zidane and his men.
There was a notable absentee when Zidane named his match-day squad, with Welshman Bale not even making it onto the bench, and Ballon D'Or winner Luka Modric being rested after playing the previous game, the loss to Rayo Vallecano.
When asked in his post match interview (via talkSport) about Bale's omission, the 46-year-old said: "I’m the coach, I have to pick the team and that’s all there is to it. You can interpret it as you wish. I need to pick a squad of players and some are going to miss out.”
Los Blancos bounced back from their shock defeat to Rayo Vallecano with victory against Villarreal, and their performance pleased their manager.
"We won the game at our ground and I’m pleased," he said. "It was a rather end-to-end game and when you’re 3-1 up you shouldn’t be letting them score, but we did. It’s a variety of things, tiredness, the heat, but we didn’t finish the game brilliantly."
With striker Karim Benzema out injured and youngster Vinicius Junior only just returning from injury, Zidane might have been wondering where his team would find goals. Step in Mariano, who took his chance in this game with two well taken goals.
On Mariano's performance Zidane added: "Of course he’s not had too many opportunities because he’s been injured, he’s been out for a long time. Mariano got his chance to play today and he’s scored twice, I’m happy for him.”