Zinedine Zidane says Real Madrid's season rejuvenated after toppling PSG in Champions League

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The Frenchman believes his sides fortunes are turning around.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane believes their season is recovering as the defending champions cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals.

Second-half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro secured a 2-1 win on the night and a 5-2 aggregate victory at PSG on Tuesday.

Edinson Cavani’s fortunate equaliser did briefly bring PSG level on the night after Marco Verratti was sent off following a second yellow card for dissent.

Real are chasing a third straight Champions League crown and Zidane, under fire with his side 15 points behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona, called on his side to stick together.

He told the post-match press conference: “We’ve had difficult moments in the Liga and Copa del Rey, but it’s always difficult to maintain the same level while playing every three days.

“You can’t always win everything, but we’re winning now in the Liga and we have to look ahead to our game with Eibar on Saturday.”

“Paris were perhaps not as good, but that’s maybe because we played well. After the sending-off and the second goal, it got more difficult for them.”

Gareth Bale came on as a second-half substitute with speculation surrounding his Real future and Zidane insisted he remains part of his plans.

He added: “I respect all the players, including Gareth Bale. He wasn’t a starter in either leg, but he’s a very important player who causes lots of trouble to the opposition. We have to stay united, as we were tonight.”

Zidane insists that Bale remains a part of the future

Zidane insists that Bale remains in his plans.

Ronaldo headed the opener six minutes after the break before Verratti walked for collecting a second yellow card.

Cavani levelled when the ball bounced in off him but Casemiro’s deflected strike won it.

PSG are also likely to face punishment from UEFA after the game was briefly stopped because of smoke from the flares of the home fans.

The French giants are yet to win the Champions League and former boss Laurent Blanc was dismissed after guiding them to the quarter-finals in three consecutive seasons.

They have now exited the competition in the last 16 for the last two years under Unai Emery.

He said: “We all want to win this competition quickly. We’ll continue with patience, and build a team that can win.

“I’m sure this team can win the Champions League. The supporters will see that Paris will win this competition one day.

“Losing to Madrid is not a disappointment, but going out in the last 16 is. But, the first leg was the key because we were better over the first 80 minutes than them.

“They controlled 60 per cent of this match and we couldn’t do enough in the 40 per cent we controlled.”

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Hugo Lloris believes Juventus Champions League showdown is a 'make or break' scenario for Tottenham

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The Frenchman believes Tottenham's season could unravel quickly.

Hugo Lloris admits Tottenham have arrived at the make-or-break stage of their season and could still “lose everything”.

Spurs host Juventus in a blockbuster Champions League clash on Wednesday night with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.

A 2-2 first-leg draw in Turin last month means Tottenham – fourth in the Premier League and in the last eight of the FA Cup – are favourites to progress, but Lloris is only too aware how quickly things can go wrong.

“It’s true we have a small advantage because we scored two goals away from home,” said the French goalkeeper.

“But if you don’t have the right energy, the right mentality and the right attitude, things can turn very quickly.

“I feel the club and team is growing stronger every season. Most of the players have been here for two, three or four years together.

“Now we must enjoy it. We have arrived at the most important part of the season and where we can win or lose everything.

“Our ambition is to improve, to develop, and the first step is to reduce the gap to the best teams in Europe.

“That’s not just in one season, but season by season and for the future.”

Tottenham had held the Italian champions to a 2-2 draw in the first leg.

Tottenham had held the Italian champions to a 2-2 draw in the first leg.

Toby Alderweireld will miss the Wembley showdown due to his hamstring problem while fellow defender Serge Aurier is suspended.

Having already beaten Real Madrid in the group stage, Tottenham’s reputation across the continent continues to grow.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino has told his players to grasp their latest opportunity to make another big statement.

“It’s been step by step, a little step every season,” said Pochettino. “You can see the team is more mature. We are going to enjoy the game.

“We know very well we are playing one of the best teams in Europe but we are a brave team and we are very positive people.

“We need to think that we can win, we always think in this way. If we are able to play in the way we normally do then we will be close to winning.”

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Man City's Ilkay Gundogan plays down comparisons with likes of Barcelona ahead of Basel tie

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Ilkay Gundogan believes Manchester City still have much to prove before they can be ranked alongside the best of Europe.

The runaway Premier League leaders have been one of the continent’s outstanding sides this season and should secure their place in the last eight of the Champions League on Wednesday.

Pep Guardiola‘s side head into the second leg of their last-16 tie against Basel holding a 4-0 lead from the first meeting between the sides in Switzerland three weeks ago.

City are now rated among the favourites to win the competition but midfielder Gundogan is not getting carried away with any such thoughts.

The German said: “It is something that it is not in our heads. People like to see us at the same level as Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich but we still feel we need to compete with these teams. We are not there yet.

“But we are in a very good way and if we have to play one day against them, we want to be ready.”

City have kicked on over the past fortnight to win the Carabao Cup and move within four wins of reclaiming the Premier League crown.

Wednesday’s outing at the Etihad Stadium should be a formality but City are determined not to let their current intensity levels drop.

Gundogan said: “It doesn’t matter how the first leg was, even with that result. The Champions League is a big stage for us and of course we want to win it. We want to play in a really serious way and we want to play our way.”

Pep 2

Manager Guardiola sees the game as an important test of his players’ focus. Even though overturning the deficit might be beyond Basel, Guardiola wants his players mentally sharp.

He said: “We start again from zero. We have to be focused not to make a mistake – just be focused on what we have to do, offensively and defensively, to control the game and go through. That is the target.”

Guardiola has stressed the importance of maintaining discipline, highlighting that some of the errors his players have made recently would be costly if repeated in the Champions League.

He said: “If people say we are favourites it is because maybe so far we have done really good.

“But if what happened in Wigan happens in the Champions League – with the red card for Fabian Delph after 44 minutes – you don’t win the Champions League.

“The action from Oleksandr Zinchenko in the first half (against Chelsea) on Victor Moses – it was ‘orange’, could be yellow, could be red – and if it is red you are out of the Champions League.

“Sometimes in the Champions League it’s not about how you play. We have to be calm.”

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