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Zidane recalls outcasts to good effect

Zinedine Zidane brought Real Madrid's outcasts in from the cold and they repaid him with a La Liga win over Celta Vigo on Saturday.

The Frenchman's new era is up and running with Isco and Gareth Bale each scoring in Real's 2-0 victory over Celta.

Isco, who had not started a single league game under Santiago Solari, gave Real the lead shortly after the hour and Bale got the goal his own committed display deserved to put Celta out of sight.

Bale was teed up by Marcelo, who was also dropped by Solari , while Keylor Navas pulled off a superb save in the first half, having been brought back in ahead of Thibaut Courtois.

"Nobody can erase what these players have done. I will count on everyone," Zidane said about those players he recalled.

The victory ends a run of four consecutive home defeats for Real and means they are now two points behind second-placed Atletico Madrid, and nine back on Barcelona who were scheduled to face Real Betis this morning.

That deficit will surely prove too big to close, but Zidane's job was to restore morale in the 11 remaining league games since he took over and to find out what, and who, needs changing in the summer.

Courtois might well wonder what his next couple of months hold, given Navas, an old favourite of Zidane, looks to be back in favour.

"There are 10 games left. Today Keylor played, on another day, it could be Thibaut," Zidane said.

"Real need two or three great goalkeepers. We'll see what happens next year." - AFP