Zinedine Zidane has warned his Real Madrid side they cannot afford to be distracted by the prospect of facing Chelsea in the Champions League semi- finals while their La Liga fate hangs in the balance.
The Spanish champions put the seal on a thoroughly satisfying week by advancing to the last four of a competition they have won three times already under the management of the legendary Frenchman. Leading 3-1 from last week’s first leg,
Real survived an early onslaught at Anfield but ultimately qualified comfortably following a goalless stalemate on Merseyside.
Thomas Tuchel’s rapidly improving Chelsea now lie in wait, but with three crucial league games to play before the first leg on home soil, Zidane knows his squad cannot afford to be side-tracked.
‘We’ve got a number of LaLiga games to play before we face Chelsea, but it’s going to be a very tough tie,’ said Zidane, who masterminded last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Barcelona which saw his side move to within a single point of current Spanish league leaders Atletico Madrid.
Zidane has encountered heavy criticism throughout the course of a testing season and was said to be on the brink of losing his job earlier in the campaign with Real lagging behind in La Liga and on the brink of an embarrassing Champions League group stage exit.
As the campaign draws to a conclusion, however, Zidane has his side perfectly positioned for an all-out assault on the two biggest prizes on offer, but remained diplomatic when asked if had a message for his detractors following Wednesday’s match.