"I'm very happy as people have been questioning us a lot," said Zidane.
"But we don't think much about that. We played 90 minutes at a very high level in a difficult stadium. We must congratulate all the players."
Not for the first time this season, Zidane singled out Gareth Bale for praise. "Today hard work was the key," he said. "The effort made by James, Gareth, all of them."
Sevilla's newly-installed coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked by Madrid 11 months ago, 139 days after taking the job that cost him the chance to lead Spain at the World Cup.
A frantic opening half an hour made for an engrossing contest but there were few chances, as Lopetegui earned himself a booking for beckoning Gareth Bale to be shown a yellow card.
Benzema the hero
Real Madrid probably just shaded the first period and had its two best chances as Eden Hazard was slipped in by Benzema, only to be denied by Tomas Vaclik on the angle, before Dani Carvajal was sent clear by James Rodriguez but this time Vaclik's right foot blocked the defender's finish.
There was little in it, as Bale's excellent cross almost found James at the back post shortly after half-time while Luuk de Jong went close with a header, prompting Carvajal to hack the ball clear at the far post.
Still, Madrid looked more likely and so it proved as Raphael Varane won back possession high up, allowing Bale to thread Carvajal in behind. He dug out a cross, which Benzema met brilliantly, rising high to head home his fifth goal of the season.
Sevilla might have equalised but De Jong headed wide under pressure from Carvajal and then Javier Hernandez did score, in the 87th minute, poking in at the near post, only for the assistant to raise his flag.