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We Worked Hard for Champions League Final Place – Zidane

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said his team’s hard work had paid off as they beat Manchester City 1-0 at the Bernabeu to book a Champions League final place against Madrid rivals Atletico.

An underwhelming game was decided when City midfielder Fernando deflected Gareth Bale’s cross-shot into his own net after 20 minutes to seal a 1-0 aggregate victory.

Madrid could have put the tie out of sight after the break, but Cristiano Ronaldo missed chances and man of the match Bale hit the bar with a header.

Zidane told his postmatch news conference he felt his team had been tactically better and added: “I did not see a weak City. They were committed, and they defended well.

“The result shows it was tough for us. We won the game 1-0, so we suffered against a very good opponent. They did not have many chances, but that is down to the good tactical game we played, all defending.

“We might have scored a second goal, but it’s a semifinal and we suffered until the end.”

Zidane said he was “happy, but not just for me” and added: “Today is a day to enjoy, all together, to enjoy the moment.

“We all do the work, and the players were fantastic today. But we have not achieved anything yet.

“I am the coach of this team — for sure I am doing something well. But not just me, this is a question of us all, everyone who works with me. We can do important things if we work well.”

The Frenchman would not be drawn on whether his side would now be expected to win against Atletico, stressing: “There are no favourites — it is a final.“We both deserve to be there, Atletico and us too. Now it is 50-50 at the start of the game.”

Ronaldo had at least four chances to score but was not at his sharpest, although he played the full 90 minutes and is set to play against Valencia in La Liga on Sunday.

“Cristiano is fine now — he has played 90 minutes,” Zidane said. “He has not trained much, but physically he is at 100 percent.

“I am happy with what he did, and with all the players.”

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