Real Madrid in crisis?

Zidane finds his job under threat after 18 months of success

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Can Real enjoy a revival?

Zinedine Zidane said he was "very disappointed" after Real Madrid missed their chance to close the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona as they could only gain a point from their visit to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Real created numerous opportunities at San Mames but could not find a way past Athletic goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, with the game ending in a goalless draw.

The result meant the Madrid club are still eight points adrift of Barcelona, who had drawn 2-2 with Celta Vigo earlier on Saturday.

Adding to Zidane's troubles, Sergio Ramos was sent off for two bookable offences at San Mames, while Dani Carvajal and Casemiro both picked up their fifth bookings of the season, meaning the trio will be suspended for the crucial clash against Sevilla next weekend.

A defeat to Sevilla would push Real out of the top four in La Liga and considerably raise the heat on Zidane.

Last month Los Blancos were defeated 3-1 by Tottenham in the Champions League at Wembley.

Seven trophies in 19 months gives Zidane enough credit for now but Real Madrid president Florentino Perez was an embarrassed spectator at Wembley and made his way down to the dressing room after the game.

The official line was that it was to tell the players to keep their chins up, but his mere presence after a defeat rarely bodes well for a manager.

Cristiano Ronaldo blamed the loss of form on the loss of experienced trio Pepe, Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez.

But captain Sergio Ramos disagrees with his teammate. Ramos told Cadena SER: "I don't agree with him that the squad is weaker, it seems to be an opportunistic opinion. Nobody thought that when we won the Super Cups [against Barcelona and Manchester United].

"We aren't missing anyone, we have won everything with the players that are here now. The squad has changed, but some players contribute some things and others contribute other things."

Per AS, Cadena SER host Manu Carreno pushed Ramos to discuss Ronaldo after he did not celebrate Isco's goal against Las Palmas, having failed to find the net himself in the 3-0 win.

The Real skipper said "it doesn't help the interests of the team" and added "it could be that it's not the best way to go about things, and yeah, maybe there are some who don't like that type of gesture."

However, he downplayed the possibility of there being a rift in the squad as a result: "We all still hold him in the same regard. We know how to handle the way he is because, after all, he does so much for us throughout the season."

Ramos also said Barca "can be caught" in the title race - an opinion echoed by Zidane - and that it would be unlikely for the Blaugrana to maintain their remarkable form throughout the season.

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