Liverpool beat Salzburg in wild 7-goal thriller

Zinedine Zidane: Six goals led to Real Madrid's win, not the referee

18/04/2017

Zinedine Zidane said it was Real Madrid's efforts -- not a poor refereeing display -- that was most important in his team's extra dramatic 4-2 extra-time victory over Bayern Munich that sent them through 6-3 on aggregate to the Champions League semifinals.

Bayern had the better of proceedings for long spells at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, and drew level on aggregate twice thanks to Robert Lewandowski's penalty and a Sergio Ramos own goal, but another Cristiano Ronaldo hat trick ultimately pushed Los Blancos into the last four for a record seventh season in succession.

Hungarian referee Victor Kassai sent off Bayern midfielder Arturo Vidal for what seemed very harsh second yellow, while pardoning Madrid's Casemiro in a similar situation, and Ronaldo looked offside as he knocked in the two goals in extra time which finally proved decisive in the tie.

Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti was very critical of Kassai's performance, saying that UEFA must introduce video assistant technology to avoid such crucial mistakes in huge games.

But Zidane told his postgame news conference at the Bernabeu that given his team had scored six goals over the two legs, there could be no argument about who ultimately deserved to progress.

"I don't know," Zidane said when asked about VAR. "The referee's work is very, very difficult, I do not get into that. They have told me [Bayern's] second goal was also offside. It goes both ways, that is football.

"More than the second yellow, or the offside goals, the six goals we scored over the two games we deserved to go through in the tie. There is no luck in football, you must win, and we won both games."

There was also controversy with Ronaldo appearing to shush Bernabeu fans angry with his workrate after scoring his first of the night, and then telling Spanish TV after the game that he did not like being whistled by his own team's fans.

"Maybe they will not whistle him anymore now," Zidane said with a smile. "That can happen here sometimes, and he knows that. The fans know [what can happen] with the tension and the effort on the pitch, they will not reproach him for that. It happens and stays at that.

"The fans were important tonight helping the team. Cristiano answers on the pitch, and he scored three goals, five in two games, what else can I say. In the key moments he is always there."

Zidane declined to say whether he had any favoured opponent in Friday's semifinal draw, when his side are in the pot alongside local rivals Atletico Madrid and either Barcelona or Juventus, and Borussia Dortmund or Monaco.

"We have played against Bayern, and when that draw was made people said, 'Oh what a game, it's not the right moment,'" he said. "We are Madrid and if we want to achieve anything we must play them all. We will see who we get on Friday and we will have to fight, battle until the end over two games. The objective remains [the final in] Cardiff."

Toni Kroos and right-back Dani Carvajal have picked up fitness problems which meant both were now injury doubts for Saturday's La Liga Clasico on Sunday at home to Barcelona.

"That is normal, we have played 120 minutes," Zidane said when asked about their condition. "The effort they put in was tremendous, all of them. Some players have some fitness issues, but we will rest well for Sunday, we have five days to get ready."

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