Zinedine Zidane: 'Real Madrid players have their confidence back'

Forward Gareth Bale is said to be on his way out of Real Madrid according to reports in Spain

Ronaldo netted his second of the game just past the hour with a low drive from close to the penalty spot after a low pass from Lucas Vazquez.

Benzema robbed Ruben Duarte of possession in Alaves territory before racing forward and playing in Bale, who side-footed past Pacheco.

There is always pressure when you are Real Madrid's No. 9, he is used to that. After there is this gesture of Cristiano for Karim.

But Zinedine Zidane has insisted the Wales international'will always be important to the club
But Zinedine Zidane has insisted the Wales international'will always be important to the club

The French striker then stole the ball and laid off for Bale to make it 2-0 in the first minute of the second half.

Bale failed to punish a poor clearance from Navas' opposite number Fernando Pacheco at the other end, but Madrid led in the 44th minute.

"I wanted to see him in that position and now we see how we play in the upcoming games", coach Zinedine Zidane said.

Bayern thrashes 10-man Besiktas
Bayern Munich caretaker coach, Jupp Heynckes says his men will face Besiktas with caution in the second leg. With a rested roster, Bayern will attempt to end Besiktas' Champions League run in the first leg.

Alaves have been in good form coming into the game, but they are facing Real Madrid at a time when they are finally hitting their strides, following some impressive results over the past few weeks. Manager Fernandez is likely to continue with the 4-4-2 setup at the Bernabeu, but there will be changes expected from the side that beat Deportivo La Coruna 1-0 in their previous game.

Ronaldo netted twice and his partners in attack added a goal each to record a fourth straight win for Madrid in the Spanish league.

Real are third in the standings on 51 points, 11 behind leaders Barcelona and four from Atletico, who can widen the gap back to seven when they visit Sevilla on Sunday. Benzema had snapped a run of almost three months without a league goal by scoring against Real Betis last weekend and was one of Real's best performers in their fifth consecutive win in all competitions.

Liverpool power past West Ham
A poor kick allowed Can to pick out Firmino, who rounded Adrian to put Liverpool 3-0 up which finished the game for the Hammers. He has scored 19 left-footed goals in the division - the joint-most in a season, alongside Robbie Fowler in 1994-95.

Madrid was without Sergio Ramos, serving a one-game suspension, and fellow starters Luka Modric, Marcelo and Toni Kroos due to injuries. "Maybe we needed a game like this".

Real have also thrashed Real Sociedad 5-1 and Real Betis 5-3 within the last two weeks as well as beating Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 3-1 in the first leg of their blockbuster Champions League last-16 tie, with their recent form contrasting with their limp start to the campaign.

Why we aren't too anxious about rising bond yields
U.S. stocks closed lower as investors awaited the release of a meeting minute from the Federal Reserve. The January meeting was the last attended by Chair Janet Yellen, who was succeeded by Jerome Powell.

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