New Delhi: Zinedine Zidane spoke in the press room at Stamford Bridge after the second leg of the Champions League semi-final. The Madrid manager said: “Chelsea deserved to go through. We did our best, but they deserved to win and go through. The players were prepared for the semi-final and I’m proud of them. They did their best, but we were one game away from the final and Chelsea played really well. They’ve gone through and I’d like to congratulate them”.
“We had a lot of players missing, but now we have four games left in the league and we have to recover and be ready to fight for the league title. It’s really important that we do that. We’ve had a really good Champions League run and we were just one game away from the final. We’re not going to throw in the towel with four games to go now. We have to finish the season as strongly as we can”.
“The first changes were for Vinicius Jr. and Mendy. I changed the wing-backs because we had to exploit that part of the pitch more and that’s what they did. We had to be more clinical in the final third because we didn’t manage a goal and then it becomes difficult, and they created their chances too. In football, you have to take your chances. I’m proud of what we did in the Champions League and now we have to recover and think about the league”.
"That said, I’d rather focus on all my players have achieved to this point. We should congratulate them for what they’ve done despite the difficulties. We were one step away from the final but it wasn’t to be today. The players who were in the starting line-up were fit enough to be there. We ran out of steam a bit towards the end of the game but if the players play, it’s because they’re ready to do so”.
“We’ve spoken about this a lot this season. It’s been a year with lots of injuries, ups and downs, all sorts of things. That’s the way it is. Even so, we’ve done good things in this Champions League campaign to get this far, we deserved that and we were just one step away from the final, a single game. We have to congratulate the team who were better today. That doesn’t change what we’ve achieved. Now we have to rest up and think about the last four league games”..