Lopetegui explains leaving Mariano on the bench



Real Madrid head coach Julen Lopetegui says he left Mariano Diaz on the bench in a 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao as he felt Gareth Bale needed to be replaced.


Mariano was among the substitutes on Saturday at San Mames but remained unused as Madrid.


Isco came off the bench to head home the equaliser but Lopetegui opted not to use Mariano, who returned to Madrid last month after a single season in Ligue 1 with Lyon


Lucas Vazquez and Casemiro were instead used as substitutes by Lopetegui, who explained his choices after
Madrid dropped league points for the first time in his reign.

"Mariano could have been an option," Lopetegui said at a post-match news conference.


"But we thought that Bale needed a replacement on that wing and Lucas has done well.


"When there is an international break you have to analyse each player."

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