The Portuguese defender says Xabi's absence was felt immediately...
RM defender pepe has said that the injury to xabi alonso had a big impact on how the game against cf zurich developed on Tuesday night.
Madrid were cruising to victory with a 3-0 lead when Alonso hobbled off with an ankle injury, and just ten minutes later Zurich found a way back into the game with two quickfire goals, before late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Guti sealed a comprehensive 5-2 victory.
"We felt Xabi's absence. We were maintaining a very high level, but noticed a change when he got injured, he is a key player for us," said Pepe, who made his first competitive appearance of the season, due to ten-game a domestic suspension he received last term.
"After that we managed to reorganise and kill off the game," the Portugal international told Radio Marca.
Pepe praised the resilience of his side, as they showed a battling quality to re-assert their superiority after the shaky spell in which Zurich scored twice.
He added, "We controlled the game up until the injury to Xabi, then it was hard for some minutes, but the important thing is that we have learned to show another quality."