Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane, has praised forward, Karim Benzema, following his man of the match performance against German champions, Bayern Munich.
Benzema proved decisive as Real Madrid reached a third consecutive UEFA Champions League final following a thrilling encounter against Bayern on Tuesday.
He netted a brace for Los Blancos, who survived a scare from the Germans to draw 2-2 in their CL semifinal second leg match for a 4-3 aggregate win.
— Real Madrid C.F.???? (@realmadriden) May 1, 2018
Speaking after the game, Zidane said; “I’m pleased for him. He wants to score and today he got two. He allowed us to get through, but he always works hard for us. Everyone is delighted for him.”
Joshua Kimmich opened the scoring, latching on to a loose Thomas Muller cross which came off Corentin Tolisso before dropping for the right back to put his side ahead.
Eight minutes later, the hosts drew level, Benzema finishing off a beautiful cross from Marcelo with a header to draw Real level on the night, and 3-2 ahead on aggregate.
It ended 1-1 at the break, but the holders needed goalkeeper, Keylor Navas to be at his best, as the Costa Rican denied Robert Lewandowski to keep scores at 1-1 at half time.
After the break, Real had their noses in front, a defensive mix up by Bayern’s Tolisso, whose back pass caught his goalkeeper, Sven Ultriech, napping leaving the onrushing Benzema with the easiest of tap-ins to give Real a 2-1 lead.
Cristiano Ronaldo almost made it 3-1 for the defending champions, before James Rodriguez ensured a tense finale when he equalised for Bayern late in the second half.
Despite a barrage of attacks from the Germans, Zidane’s men held on to reach their fourth CL final in five seasons.
Not a vintage performance by the Spanish giants, but they do enough to seal another appearance in the final, setting up a chance for a third successive CL victory.
Howwver, Zidane eulogised the away side after the game and admitted that it wasn’t an easy game for his side, as they made them “suffer”.
“In football you have to suffer and especially in the UCL,” he added “We know you can’t get to the final of it without suffering, and it’s nicer this way. It’s not great for your heart, though!”
“Ir was a crazy game, but at the same time it made great viewing. We need to congratulate Bayern for a great game. We started badly, letting in a goal. The second half was much better, we scored the second and played much better.”
Following the result, Real will face the winner of the other semifinal between Liverpool and Roma in the final at Kiev.