≡ Menu

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane insisted progression to the Champions League final is no formality after his side won 2-1 in Wednesday night’s semi-final first leg at Bayern Munich.

Two high quality opponents produced numerous uncharacteristic errors, with Joshua Kimmich beating Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas at his near post to give Bayern the lead.

Marcelo equalised after 44 minutes, after Bayern had lost winger Arjen Robben and defender Jerome Boateng to injury.

And half-time substitute Marco Asensio struck after 57 minutes, capitalising on Rafinha’s sloppy pass, to give Zidane’s men the advantage ahead of next week’s second leg at the Bernabeu.

Bayern Munich defender David Alaba will face a late fitness before the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena.

Alaba sat out Bayern’s final training session on Tuesday with a thigh strain, but coach Jupp Heynckes says a decision will be made early on Wednesday as to whether he will be in the squad.

Midfielder Corentin Tolisso is also a doubt while Brazilian defender Rafinha is likely to replace Alaba if he fails to make the squad.

On-loan Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez could start after being used as a substitute in the 3-0 victory over Hannover on Saturday.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is said to be considering his future at the club despite being days away from winning the double in his first season.

The 54-year-old moved to the Camp Nou from Athletic Bilbao last summer and despite leading his side to domestic dominance this season, his relationship with the club’s board is said to be strained.

Diario AS reports Valverde, who has a deal with Barca until June 2019, is considering leaving the Catalan giants despite winning the Copa del Rey and needing just one point from five games to win La Liga.

Andres Iniesta is set to end his trophy-laden spell at Barcelona this summer and it was an emotional occasion for the midfielder on Saturday night as he helped his side to overcome Sevilla with a 5-0 victory to win the Copa del Rey.

Iniesta, who seems likely to head to China, was amongst the scorers at Wanda Metropolitano, with Luis Suarez hitting a brace, while Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho were also on the scoresheet.

In the closing stages of the game Iniesta was substituted to much applause and he was overcome with emotion as he was seen crying on the bench during what is likely to be his final Copa del Rey success with the club.

It was a draw that brought delight to Merseyside and Rome and anguish to Madrid and Munich.

The Champions League semi-final draw was made on Friday and it ensured that one of this season’s cinderella sides, Liverpool or Roma will be in the final in Kiev as they were drawn against each other, in a rematch of the 1984 European Cup Final that Liverpool won 1-0.

Two heavyweights in the draw, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich will meet in the other semi-final. The first leg will be the 25th match between the sides, making it the most played fixture in UEFA club competition. It will also be the sides’ seventh semi-final meeting. Bayern have won four to Real Madrid’s two so far.

Arsenal have been drawn against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals.

The Gunners booked their place in the final four with a nervy 6-3 aggregate win over CSKA Moscow on Thursday evening, drawing 2-2 on the night in Russia.

Victory in the competition represents Arsenal’s only serious chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season, with the north London club sitting in sixth place in the Premier League.

In the other semi-final tie, Olympique Marseille face FC Red Bull Salzburg, who both advanced following fine comeback wins over RB Leipzig and Lazio respectively.

Sergio Ramos could face additional ban after watching end of Real Madrid win over Juventus on the touchline… which would see him miss semi-final

He was spotted by the TV cameras gesticulating wildly at the mouth of the tunnel as his team-mates toiled having seen their 3-0 aggregate lead whittled away.

UEFA’s regulations specify that a suspended player cannot enter the field of play or the tunnel before or during a match. Ramos may or may not have been on the field. But he seemed to be communicating with Real Madrid players or staff during the game, and at one point appeared to get in an argument with Juventus manager Max Allegri. And he clearly had entered the tunnel.

Cristiano Ronaldo has added yet another astonishing goal-scoring record to his remarkable collection of statistics after netting against Juventus in the Champions League.

Ronaldo scored at the Bernabeu against the Italian champions in the second leg of their quarter-final on Wednesday night, in the most dramatic of circumstances.

It was the Portuguese hitman’s 15th goal in the 2017-18 competition – the third-highest goal tally for an individual player in a season.

The top two seasons are held, unsurprisingly, by Ronaldo, for two of his other phenomenal European seasons for Real.

They had battled back from a three-goal deficit and were dreaming of a Miracle in Madrid. Then, deep into added time, Cristiano Ronaldo broke Juve’s hearts.

In scenes of high drama, even by the standards of one of football’s greatest stages, Real were awarded a last-gasp penalty by English referee Michael Oliver, Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was sent off for his full-throated protest and Ronaldo nailed the winner from the spot.

Comebacks can be contagious and whatever Barcelona and Roma had on Tuesday, Madrid and Juventus had a serious dose of it 24 hours later. This time the patient survived.

Ernesto Valverde admits Barcelona’s 3-0 defeat to Roma ‘is a big blow for us mentally’ but insists ‘I can’t criticise my players for anything’.

Barca’s performance during Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg was widely considered to be their worst of the season, while Valverde came under fire for not making any substitutions until the final 15 minutes.

“We can only keep our heads up because there’s no other way,” the Coach said after his side’s elimination.

“They had a great game, they overcame us and we have to congratulate them. We weren’t able to play our game and the dressing room has been very affected, although it’s normal after a defeat like this.