Zinedine Zidane content but cautious post-game: “The return leg remains, it won’t be easy”

Real Madrid welcomed Liverpool to the Spanish capital in the Champions League this evening in the kind of game the club’s image is built on. This isn’t a vintage Madrid, but one thing they know how to do is win, and win they did. Vinicius Junior‘s brace coupled with Marco Asensio‘s strike fired them to 3-1 victory, rendering Mo Salah‘s effort a mere consolation.

Vinicius Junior

Madrid started well, playing with control and confidence, and got their reward in the 27th minute when they took the lead. Toni Kroos was instrumental in the build-up play but this goal belonged to Vinicius, who finished off the move with style. Things went from bad to worse for Liverpool less than ten minutes later, when Asensio got in on the act and doubled Madrid’s lead to really give the men from Anfield an uphill task.

The game was far from done, however, and Liverpool pulled a goal back shortly after the second half restarted. It was Mo Salah who delivered the killer blow, finishing from close range after excellent work by Gini Wijnaldum. Their comeback was short-lived, however, with Vinicius hitting another soon after to restore the two-goal advantage deflate the Liverpool ballon, and secure a crucial first-leg victory for Zinedine Zidane‘s men.

“I feel great, but it’s a mixture of emotions,” Zidane said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “We played a great game, with difficulties at the beginning of the second half. But we played a very good game and I’m proud of everyone. It’s not easy, this is the Champions League. The return leg remains, it won’t be easy. [Vinicius] is playing well, he’s helping the team and when he scores a goal it gives him energy. That’s for sure.”

Tags La Liga Real Madrid Vinicius Junior Zinedine Zidane