Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has weighed in on the fallout from his side’s elimination of Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday, branding accusations of cheating absurd.
Los Merengues looked to have squandered a 3-0 first leg lead in the quarter-final clash, as they trailed at home by the same scoreline going into stoppage time.
However, a last gasp Cristiano Ronaldo penalty, coupled with Gianluigi Buffon’s red card for dissent, saw Real Madrid book a semi-final spot with a 4-3 aggregate win.
The manner of the victory prompted a furious response from Juventus, with Buffon launching an incredible tirade against referee Michael Oliver and Giorgio Chiellini gesturing that Real Madrid may have fixed the result. Zidane was quick to hit back against the claims though.
“It’s a shame and I am very disappointed about what has been said about us, with accusations of theft,” the Frenchman declared in his press conference ahead of a domestic fixture against Malaga. “I cannot believe people are saying these things.”
“Buffon was angry when he reacted like that, and I accept he was emotional. However, we deserved to progress and that is all I am concerned with. The controversy created after the penalty decision does not seem normal to me.”
Real Madrid will take on Bayern Munich in the semi-final of the Champions League, as they look to lift the trophy for the third consecutive season.