Zidane says Real Madrid will not sit on lead against Atlético
Reigning champions take a 3-0 lead into away leg against city rivals
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane: “This club relishes moments like this and we’re focused on the game.” Photograph: Pierre Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty
Real Madrid will attack city rivals Atletico Madrid in their Champions League semi-final second leg and not sit back and defend their 3-0 lead as they chase a place in the final, coach Zinedine Zidane said.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick in a dominant first leg display put the 11-times European champions on the brink of a third final in four years.
“We’re going to approach the second leg just as any other game, to go out strong and give everything,” said Zidane ahead of the clash at the Vicente Calderon.
“We’ll see what happens then, but our aim wont change, the result changes nothing and we’re going to try and score.”
The prospect of going out to pile more misery on Atletico will be music to the ears of Ronaldo, who has scored eight times in the last three Champions League games and also hit a hat-trick in the quarter-final second leg against Bayern Munich.
The Portuguese player has shone in games against Real’s neighbours this season, also scoring all three goals in their 3-0 win at Atletico in the league in November.
Atletico’s 51-year-old stadium will close in the summer when Diego Simeone’s side moves to their new 67,000 capacity Wanda Metropolitano stadium in the north of the Spanish capital.
The scorer of a sensational volley against Bayer Leverkusen to win the 2002 Champions League for Real, Zidane joined an elite group to have won the Champions League as a player and a coach when he steered Los Blancos to a penalty shoot-out victory over Atletico last year.
The Frenchman is on the cusp of a sixth Champions League final either on the pitch or in the dugout.
“I feel great and I’m not feeling any vertigo,” he said.
“This club relishes moments like this and we’re focused on tomorrow’s game. Whatever you have achieved in the past you need to keep proving yourself. We may have beaten them in two finals but it will still be a different game.
“They have their strengths and we have ours, the fact we’ve won two finals against them doesn’t mean we’re going to get through . . . if we think it does then we‘re making a big mistake.”