Zinedine Zidane refused to put a time frame on Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury absence after the forward had to be substituted at half-time in an keenly contested 2-2 draw with rival Barcelona. Ronaldo had cancelled out Luis Suarez’s opener for the unbeaten La Liga champions, but picked up an ankle knock while tapping in Karim Benzema’s header back across goal from Toni Kroos’ cross.

With the Champions League final against Liverpool three weeks away, Zidane insisted it was too early to speculate about the extent of the injury.”I don’t know how long he’ll be out,” the Frenchman said in quotes reported on Real’s official website. “He said it wasn’t much, but we’ll see tomorrow.

“We’ll do some tests to see the extent of the damage done to his ankle. He was a little worried because it was a bit swollen, but he said that it’s nothing serious.

Barca had Sergi Roberto sent off in first-half stoppage-time following a clash with Marcelo, but regained the lead through Lionel Messi seven minutes after the interval.

Gareth Bale then curled home a first-time effort with 18 minutes remaining to leave Real three points behind city rivals Atletico in the race for second, albeit with a game in hand.

“I’d have liked to have won,” added Zidane.

“There was nothing at stake but it was a good Clasico – high intensity and chances. They played well and so did we.

“Everyone who likes football can be happy with a game like that. Football is always more important than the controversy that you want to create.

“We had a good opportunity to win today, clearly, we had a lot of chances to score, especially in the first half. In the end it was a draw and that’s that. There are two games left and, in the end, Barcelona will finish the season unbeaten.”

Barca boss Ernesto Valverde was pleased with the way his side went about their business with 10 men.

“We made a great effort, since playing with a man down is never easy, still less against Real Madrid because they always find spaces,” he said in quotes on the club’s official website.

“It was a very intense Clasico and we all want to win, in a game of this kind there is always tension.

“The match deserved it, we had a great game despite the difficulties. It’s a shame we couldn’t win.


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