Saturday 17 March 2018

Zidane: Real roaring again

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane believes their season is recovering as the defending champions cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals.

Second-half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro secured a 2-1 win on the night and a 5-2 aggregate victory at PSG on Tuesday. Edinson Cavani's fortunate equaliser did briefly bring PSG level on the night after Marco Verratti was sent off following a second yellow card for dissent.

Real are chasing a third straight Champions League crown and Zidane, under fire with his side 15 points behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona, called on his side to stick together.

He said: "We've had difficult moments in the Liga and Copa del Rey, but it's always difficult to maintain the same level while playing every three days.

"You can't always win everything, but we're winning now in the Liga and we have to look ahead to our game with Eibar on Saturday. Paris were perhaps not as good, but that's maybe because we played well. After the sending-off and the second goal, it got more difficult for them."

Gareth Bale came on as a second-half substitute with speculation surrounding his Real future and Zidane insisted he remains part of his plans. He added: "I respect all the players, including Gareth Bale. He wasn't a starter in either leg, but he's a very important player who causes lots of trouble to the opposition. We have to stay united."

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