Zidane happy for decisive Benzema

Karim Benzema has had a tough season but Zinedine Zidane was glad the Real Madrid striker made the difference in the Champions League.

Published : May 02, 2018 04:18 IST

Zinedine Zidane said he was happy striker Karim Benzema stepped up to become Real Madrid's saviour in the Champions League semi-final with a decisive brace against Bayern Munich.

Benzema scored both of his side's goals in a 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu, booking a trip to Kiev for the final after a 4-3 aggregate success.

Sven Ulreich's horrendous error presented Benzema with an open goal for the holders, the France forward taking advantage to score his 11th goal of a difficult personal campaign.

And although Madrid needed a series of stops from Keylor Navas to edge past Bayern, Zidane hailed the unlikely hero.

"I'm happy for Karim, because he deserves it and he has never stopped working," Zidane said. "Keylor has made great stops in the second half.

"In the end we played against a huge team. We are happy because we have beaten three great teams in the knockout rounds.

"Without suffering, this cannot be done. We're going to rest well for the final.

"Now we can be very happy, I think we have suffered too much, but it is beautiful too."


Lucas Vazquez filled in at right-back for Madrid in the absence of injured defenders Dani Carvajal and Nacho.

While the converted attacker had a testing match-up with Franck Ribery, Vazquez said he knew Madrid would have to battle against Bayern.

"We knew it was going to be complicated," Vazquez said. "They are a great team and they have shown it. 

"We have had some difficult moments, but we have suffered and we are in the final, we will try to win the third straight title."

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