Zidane praises Real Madrid for win against Napoliby Rohan Toure 15/02/2017 18:25:00 0 comments 1 Views
- Real Madrid fell a goal behind during the opening 10 minutes on Wednesday
- But they managed to respond exceptionally and won the tie 3-1 at home
- Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Casemiro scored to take control of tie
By Press Association Reporter
Published: 17:30 EST, 15 February 2017 | Updated: 18:18 EST, 15 February 2017
Zinedine Zidane praised the way his Real Madrid side hit back from the shock of conceding an early opener to put one foot in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals with a 3-1 first leg win over Napoli.
Lorenzo Insigne's stunning eighth-minute opener threatened to give the Italians the first-leg advantage but Real were level within 10 minutes through Karim Benzema before second-half strikes from Toni Kroos and Casemiro turned the tie around.
Zidane told UEFA.com: 'We played a great game - it was a shame about the Napoli goal but we rectified things, scored ourselves and turned the game on its head and I think it was the right result.
Zinedine Zidane praised Real Madrid after their exceptional comeback on Wednesday
'We'll go there to a difficult ground where we'll suffer and it is still an open game. We need to go there and finish it off with our 3-1 advantage.'
Zidane singled out German Kroos for special praise after he turned the tie in Real's favour by striking a first-time shot past Pepe Reina from Cristiano Ronaldo's right-wing cross early in the second period.
Zidane added: 'Kroos likes to arrive late in the box and we spoke about it recently. He has the capacity to run more both defensively and attacking.
'He has brilliant feet and can score from those kind of positions and I'm very pleased for him.'
Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri admitted mistakes cost his side dear but believes his young side will learn from the experience and try their best to turn the tie around in the second leg.
Sarri said: 'We faced the best team in the world but it is a pity that we made so many mistakes with the ball because we don't usually do that.
'Playing in such a stadium against such a team can be very challenging for young players but this is the way you grow as a player.
'While we were not at our best tonight I think we can compete with them if we play our best football. We have only a few chances now but we will try to give everything and see what happens.'