Zidane’s first loss coincides with Sarri’s last | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 09, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 09, 2020

Zidane’s first loss coincides with Sarri’s last

If I wasn't devastated by not qualifying, I'd be happy with the performance. I actually expected less from us, I think we played a great game. We fell behind to a penalty kick that could have made us lose our heads and we had three chances when we were 2-1 ahead.

Maurizio Sarri Juventus coach

Manchester City marched into the Champions League quarterfinals by beating visitors Real Madrid 2-1 for a 4-2 aggregate triumph on Friday, with Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus taking advantage of two dreadful errors by Raphael Varane.

Having beaten the 13-times champions home and away, City will now head to Lisbon for the 'final eight' where they will face Olympique Lyonnais, who progressed on away goals against Juventus in Friday's other game despite a 2-1 loss on the night.

On Saturday, Juventus announced that Sarri had been sacked. Sarri was hired to give Juventus a more flamboyant edge but struggled to impose his so-called "Sarri-ball" high-tempo passing game on the Turin side.

He had been under pressure since his side lost to Napoli on penalties in the final of the Coppa Italia in June.

Real, trailing 2-1 from the first-leg, were without suspended skipper Sergio Ramos at The Etihad and it showed.

French international Varane, having received a pass inside his own area from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in the ninth minute, was robbed by Jesus and the striker slipped the ball to Sterling who slotted home his 100th goal for the club.

Karim Benzema equalised from a header after some brilliant work odwn the flank by Rodrygo and it took another piece of calamitous defending by Varane to decide the tie in the 68th minute, when his backpass to Courtois was lobbed home by Jesus.

Zinedine Zidane had never lost a knockout tie in the Champions League as Real manager, having won his previous 12 encounters while winning the trophy three times. "It is important. We beat them twice. Zinedine Zidane never lost a knockout game. The calm and personality they play with, they are good," he said.

Zidane said his side's loss had to be put in the context of their domestic title-winning campaign. "We are proud of what we achieved this season, this is football. We lost to a good team and have to accept it," said the Frenchman. "95% of what we have done this season has been excellent. Today we played a good team and we have to accept it."

"I wanted to show my face because this defeat is mine. I have to take all the responsibility for this match. We played well in the game, we'd prepared well for it, but at this level if you make mistakes you end up paying a lot for them. I can't explain the errors but I have to accept them. This is a complicated moment for me. This hasn't happened to me many times in my career but something like this can always happen, errors are made all over the pitch but in my position they have a higher price. My team mates know I'm sad but I have to show character and get over this quickly. It'll be a sad night for me. I'm a competitor and today I messed up. I'm not happy but I have to accept it."

Raphael Varane

Real Madrid defender


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