Zinedine Zidane rues missed chances as Real Madrid are held in Bilbao
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane rued his side's inability to make the breakthrough against Athletic Bilbao as the defending La Liga champions saw two valuable points slip away at San Mames.
Real could have moved to within six points of Barcelona after the leaders were held at home by Celta Vigo earlier in the day, but Zidane's men drew a blank in the Basque country.
Zidane insists he is not worried by his side's struggles in front of goal, but conceded that was the only thing that prevented Real from claiming what he felt would have been a deserved victory.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane with Athletic Bilbao coach Jose Angel ZigandaReuters
He said in quotes reported by AS: "I'm very happy with the performance and very disappointed not to have scored. But above all for the players.
"I'm very disappointed because with the game we played.... We knew that we had the chance to cut the gap, but the shame is that we did everything but in the end couldn't score. We deserved more.
"We played very well, but the ball didn't want to go in.
"If you score a goal, you cut the gap (to Barca). We can play worse, and we have done, but today and against Atletico (another 0-0 draw) we deserved much more than the opponents. With goals you have four points more and it's different."
Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid CF looks on during the La Liga match between Athletic Club and Real Madrid at Estadio de San Mames on December 2, 2017 in Bilbao, Spain.Getty Images
Asked if he was concerned about the lack of goals, Zidane said: "I'm not worried, I'm disappointed for the players.
"They are disappointed. My job is (to) think positively. Playing in this fashion the goals are going to come."
Zidane selected the same XI that beat Juventus in June's Champions League final for the first time since that match, but whereas Real won that game 4-1, they were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw on Saturday.
On what was different on this occasion, the Frenchman added: "The result, nothing more. When you look at today's game you cannot say we played worse. I don't think so.
"What's changed is the goal. Against Juve we scored four and today none."
December 2, 2017 Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos with Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane after being sent offReuters
After failing to score, the champions were left holding on for even a point at the end after captain Sergio Ramos was sent off - the 24th time he has seen red in his Real career.
Zidane said of the Spain centre-back: "He's not happy because he thought it wasn't a card. But that's that. We cannot change it now."