Zinedine Zidane credits Real Madrid for 'perfect game' against PSG

Zinedine Zidane credits Real Madrid for 'perfect game' against PSG
From ESPN - March 6, 2018

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane hailed a "perfect game" from his side as they won 2-1 at Paris Saint-Germain in Tuesday's Champions League round-of-16 second leg to ease through to the quarterfinals 5-2 on aggregate.

After a goalless first half, Cristiano Ronaldo headed Madrid in front soon after half-time, with the Portuguese matching former Manchester United teammate Ruud Van Nistelrooy's record of scoring in nine consecutive UCL matches.

Marco Verratti left PSG with 10 men after picking up a second yellow card for dissent, before Edinson Cavani got one back for the French side during a goalmouth scramble. But Casemiro's deflected 20 yarder ended any doubt over who was progressing, with Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez also hitting the woodwork as the Ligue 1 side ended the game well beaten.

Zidane told the postgame news conference that his team's plan for how the game had gone just as he hoped, while maintaining that his players deserved most of the praise.

"It went well for us, we played a very good game, serious from the start, pressing them high." Zidane said. "We played a perfect game. I am very happy, as you can see that whoever starts, and the substitutes, they all played a good game.

"This is a not an easy place to play a good game, but we did it. So I can only be happy. Tactically we played the game we expected. But in the end it is the players convinced in what we [coaches] do, that is the most important."

Zidane denied that the expensively-assembled PSG side, who have still not made it past the UCL quarterfinals despite over 1 billion invested by their Qatari owners, had been weaker than expected opponents.

"I do not believe PSG have been weak or easy to beat," he said. "They played very well in the first leg, maybe not as good tonight, but also because we played very well. It started 50-50 and was until the end. Maybe the sending off changed things, and then when we scored the second it was more difficult for them."


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