Champions League

'In football, you have to suffer' - Zidane

2018-05-02 07:04
Karim Benzema (Getty Images)

Madrid - Real Madrid scrapped their way into a third consecutive Champions League final on Tuesday and coach Zinedine Zidane said he would not have wanted it any other way.

After their last-gasp win over Juventus in the quarter-finals, Real were left hanging on against Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu as Karim Benzema's double secured a 2-2 draw and 4-3 win on aggregate.

When Joshua Kimmich gave Bayern an early lead and James Rodriguez levelled with 27 minutes remaining, Real looked in danger of surrendering their 2-1 advantage from the first leg.

By the end, Real's fans were begging for the full-time whistle and if it is to be Liverpool in the final in Kiev, Jurgen Klopp's men will take heart.

Zidane, however, insists the grit his team have shown to overcome Paris Saint-Germain, Juve, and now Bayern, should not be underestimated.

"In football, you have to suffer," Zidane said. "You cannot be in the final without suffering, it's even better, more beautiful when you win like that.

"Madrid never gives up. It is the same in adversity, we believe in what we do and we get things done by believing in ourselves and fighting."

Real, and Zidane, are now on the brink of a third consecutive Champions League triumph, and 13th overall in Europe's premier tournament.

Whether it be Liverpool or Roma they face in Kiev, Los Blancos will be strong favourites to lift the title.

"We are only in the final," Zidane said. "You can be happy, you have to be, it is not normal to be in the final for the third consecutive time.

"But now that we are, what we have to do is try to win. We will fight to defend our title."

'Spectacular' Navas

Benzema's two goals were also credit to Zidane, who had picked the striker despite a poor run of form that had included only one goal in 12 games.

"He never gave up and I'm happy for him," Zidane said. "I defended Karim as I defend all my players, I defend them until the end."

Bayern, meanwhile, are left wondering what might have been after dominating large spells of the two legs but paying a heavy price for individual mistakes.

Benzema's second, which proved decisive, was a gift, with goalkeeper Sven Ulreich making a mess of Corentin Tolisso's under-hit back pass and allowing the Frenchman to slot into an open net.

"If you look at both games it is quite apparent we were the best team," Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said.

"I'm very disappointed in the result. We dominated, I believe, and they should thank Keylor Navas for his performance in goal, he was spectacular, particularly towards the end of the match."

On Ulreich's error, Heynckes added: "He had a little blackout, he got confused, he didn't realise he couldn't pick it up with his hands.

"It's terrible for a player to live through such a moment, but nevertheless we did have a lot of opportunities, and all in all our 'keeper performed well."

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
Young Boys v Valencia, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 18:55
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Club Brugge v Monaco, Jan Breydelstadion 18:55
PSV v Tottenham Hotspur, Philips Stadion 18:55
Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Internazionale, Camp Nou 21:00
PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Monaco v Club Brugge, Stade Louis II 19:55
Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool, Stadion Rajko Mitic 19:55
Porto v Lokomotiv Moskva, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Valencia v Young Boys, Estadio de Mestalla 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Roma, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Manchester United, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid, Doosan Arena 22:00
Benfica v Ajax, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
AEK Athens v Ajax, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Viktoria Plzen, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Valencia, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v Benfica, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Manchester City, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v Young Boys, Old Trafford 22:00
Roma v Real Madrid, Stadio Olimpico 22:00
Hoffenheim v Shakhtar Donetsk, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 22:00
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Atletico Madrid v Monaco, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 19:55
Lokomotiv Moskva v Galatasaray, RZD Arena 19:55
Porto v Schalke 04, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
PSG v Liverpool, Parc des Princes 22:00
PSV v Barcelona, Philips Stadion 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge, Signal-Iduna-Park 22:00
Napoli v Crvena Zvezda, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Internazionale, Wembley Stadium 22:00
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