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Thursday 12. December 2019 - 08:56

Real Madrid 'will eliminate' Liverpool! Zidane has his smile back ahead of the Champions League draw

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has no concerns over who they will face in the knockout stages in the Champions League - even Liverpool.

Real had already secured their place in the Last 16 before their 3-1 win over Club Brugge on Wednesday, and progress in second place behind Group A winners PSG.

As second seeds, Zidane’s side will face one of the winners from the other groups: and that could see them face Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp’s side, the reigning champions, topped Group E, and are looking to reach a third consecutive Champions League final.

The two sides meet in the 2018 final, with Real Madrid winning 3-1 on the night.

While Zidane’s comments were obviously in jest, the Frenchman could be forgiven for feeling confident in this competition. After all, he has won the Champions League in each every season has managed in it: becoming one only three managers to have won the Champions League title three times.

But his comments appeared to touch a nerve among the Liverpool fans, with some already voicing their wish to face Real Madrid next to prove Zidane wrong.

Zidane opted to give rotate the side, with Br azilian teenagers Rodrygo and Vinicius both on target against the Belgians, who had briefly rallied through an equaliser from Hans Vanaken.

In stoppage time, a vintage finish from veteran playmaker Luka Modric, curling the ball past the goalkeeper from the edge of the penalty area, sealed what had been a hard-earned victory.

Reflecting on the win, Zidane said: "We were delighted with this win, mostly because we put in a serious performance. I'm satisfied with the guys I chose and what they produced."

"I reckon we deserved the three points because we were very effective in front of goal. Club Brugge had their merits, but we dominated the second half."

Zidane added at a press conference: "Obviously I'm thrilled for Vinicius and Rodrygo for their goals, but more for the quality of all-round game they produced."

After resting the likes of captain Sergio Ramos and Toni Kroos, while France forward Karim Benzema had started on the bench, Zidane will take his time before deciding on how best to approach Sunday's LaLiga game at Valencia.

"We are happy with the victory, now we have to rest well and tomorrow we will start thinking about the next game," the Real Madrid coach said.

Wales forward Gareth Bale was among the substitutes following his return from a hamstring problem, but did not get sent on.

Zidane said: "Three changes had to be made and I chose another (player). It is done, there is nothing else (behind the decision)."

With PSG thrashing Galatasaray 5-0 in the other Group A match, Brugge were at least secured of further European progress, whatever the final result at the Jan Breydel Stadion.

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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