Champions League: Zidane speaks on Ronaldo’s late penalty, Buffon’s red card
Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane, has said referee Michael Oliver made the right decision, in awarding his side a late penalty in their 3-1 defeat to Juventus on Wednesday.
Zidane’s side came into the second leg of the quarter-final clash with a 3-0 lead.
However, Mario Mandzukic’s brace and Blaise Matuidi’s goal, saw Juventus level the tie on aggregate.
With seconds left in the game, Oliver pointed to the spot, after Medhi Benatia appeared to knee Lucas Vasquez in the back.
Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up and fired high into the roof of the net.
“It was a penalty, they’ve told me it was a penalty. I didn’t see it. The ref awarded it and we can’t change that, but I think it was a penalty,” Zidane said.
“Cristiano is used to these situations. He doesn’t feel pressure. He scored the penalty and we got the win.
“There is nothing left to say. We’re in the semi-finals and we’re happy with that. They played well but we were just average, the difference is we kept believing until the end. We deserved to go through to the semi-finals over the course of the tie and we can be pleased with that.”
Zidane added: “It wasn’t a strange game, but we didn’t expect to concede in the first minute. When that happens, heads drop and the opposition gain in confidence. They approached the game in the right way and we didn’t. We had problems controlling the game.
“I knew we would be up against it, but I didn’t expect what happened in the first minute. We knew that we’d have to dig in against a side that put in a great performance and that press high up the pitch.
“I didn’t see us going out because I’m a positive person. I told my players we were going to be troubled, that it would be tricky.”
The Real boss hopes Gianluigi Buffon has not played his last Champions League game, after he was sent off before Ronaldo’s spot-kick.
Buffon saw red after furiously protesting Oliver’s decision to award Madrid a stoppage-time penalty. It was the 40-year-old’s first red card of his career in the Champions League and talk immediately turned to the iconic goalkeeper’s future, with the Italy international yet to decide whether he will retire at the end of the season.
Asked about Buffon’s dismissal, Madrid head coach Zidane – who was sent off in his last professional match after headbutting Marco Materazzi in France’s 2006 World Cup final loss to Italy – said: “I don’t think that he deserves to go out in this way, but there’s no going back on it now.
“What happened at the end of the game won’t change or take anything away from what he has done in the game.
“He’s a magnificent player and this perhaps wasn’t his last Champions League appearance.”