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The French coach was without the likes of Bale, Benzema, Marcelo, Ramos and Modric for the visit to Valencia, but he came away delighted with the win

Zinedine Zidane has heaped praise on his players after fielding a relatively inexperienced starting line-up for Real Madrid's clash away to Levante.

Madrid secured a 3-1 win courtesy of goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and an own goal from Levante goalkeeper Diego Marino, before Isco made sure of the points late in the second half.

Injuries and suspensions forced Zidane into fielding something of a makeshift starting XI, with the likes of Lucas Vasquez, Casemiro and Borja Mayoral coming into the side, and the coach was happy with how the new-look team responded to the weekend's derby defeat against Atletico Madrid.

"When there are many changes, you always think it might be more difficult," he said.

"But we saw a good game of football.


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"It was not easy at the start, but we got into the game, and we got the three points and played a good game. When you do not play, or don't play much, it is difficult. But you did not see that today."

The increased work rate, exemplified by Lucas, was particularly pleasing for Zidane, who was left infuriated by his side's lack of effort against Atletico.

"Lucas worked very hard in defence and ended up with cramp," he said.

"That is what we must do - to run, to be committed. That's what we always want. We must always make the maximum effort on the pitch, not just the kids."

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