By 90Min
February 19, 2018

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has explained that it was a tactical decision to leave Gareth Bale out of the starting XI that beat Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night in the Champions League round of 16 first leg clash

Los Blancos were facing the most important game of their season, so far, when they came up against the Ligue 1 leaders in Paris.  With La Liga title already out of sight, Zidane will be putting his main focus on Europe and a third successive Champions League title. Therefore, it was a surprise to see Bale starting on the bench at the Bernabeu.

Zidane has normally opted to play his full 'BBC' of Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema together, when all are fit and has even admitted so in the past. However, a tactical switch to a diamond in midfield meant there was no space for the former Spurs star with Isco preferred behind the strikers.

"I wanted to play a diamond and I felt that against PSG it was best to play like that," explained the Madrid boss, as quoted by Marca.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/GettyImages

Zidane then opted to pair up Ronaldo and Benzema up front, leaving Bale on the bench.

With the score at 1-1 and heading into the final 20 minutes of the game, Zidane brought Bale into the fray as Benzema departed. And after the further introductions of Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez for Isco and Casemiro, Madrid found themselves leaving the pitch with a 3-1 victory and very little of the starting diamond still in tact. 

(You may also be interested in 'Zinedine Zidane Hails 'Stunning' Real Madrid Second Half After 5-3 Comeback Win Over Real Betis')

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