Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has revealed why he substituted Cristiano Ronaldo in the second-half of Saturday's 2-2 draw against Levante.

The Portuguese forward was replaced by Marco Asensio immediately after Isco had put Los Blancos in front with 81 minutes played.

But Ronaldo watched from the sidelines as Real Madrid conceded a late equaliser, Giampaolo Pazzini beating Keylor Navas with a minute remaining to level the scores.


Zidane revealed after the game that the decision to take off Ronaldo was a tactical one.

"No. It was planned to change him, and that's all," he told beIN SPORTS. "I changed him as I wanted another player a bit more in the middle of the pitch, to defend with Marco Asensio and Karim [Benzema]."

The draw left Real Madrid 18 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona, and Zidane bemoaned his players' inability to hold on to their lead.


"We had the game under control, the most difficult is to score goals. We got to 2-1, but in the end, two mistakes cost us the two goals," he said.

"This year is being difficult for us. We cannot put three or four results together. I am not happy with the result. We were in control of the game, above all the first half, so not happy, of course.

"The pity is that after we scored our second goal, we were not able to keep hold of the ball, and defensively we were not good."

He added: "I just think about the next game, nothing else. La Liga will not be over until the end. There are a lot of points, and two more today, even when we had the game under control. We should have won a third consecutive game, but we did not."