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Madrid defence wins plaudits

Published: Wednesday 10 March 2004, 23.50CET
Carlos Queiroz attributed victory against FC Bayern München to "concentration, discipline and determination".
Published: Wednesday 10 March 2004, 23.50CET

Madrid defence wins plaudits

Carlos Queiroz attributed victory against FC Bayern München to "concentration, discipline and determination".

By Andy Hall in Madrid

Real Madrid CF coach Carlos Queiroz was thrilled to reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals in his first season at the Santiago Bernabéu and paid tribute to his defence for keeping FC Bayern München at bay in a tense first knockout round tie.

All about attitude
"We made our way through this tie because the attitude of our defenders was magnificent," he said. "It was a difficult match but we pulled through thanks to our concentration, discipline and determination." Even without the flair of unavailable Brazilian stars Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos, Madrid were strong enough to win 1-0 after a first-half Zinedine Zidane goal separated the teams.

Guti close
The home side had the edge in the first period as Raúl González and Santiago Solari tantalised Bayern's goal with each attack. The forward play was effective and efficient: Guti tested goalkeeper Oliver Kahn from long range early on and was unlucky to see his effort glance wide.

Zidane imperious
Just after the half-hour mark, Zidane scored the only goal of the game: he was perfectly placed to steer the ball in after Michel Salgado beat Robert Kovac in the air to head the ball across goal. The Frenchman lit up the Bernabéu with his performance, which combined impressive touches with intelligent distribution.

Absent friends
"Zidane started playing in a different position from his usual slot," Queiroz explained, "but Solari and Luís Figo helped him perfectly. Let me add: it is fair to speak about those that played tonight but both Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos played their part in Munich."

Casillas in form
Bayern struggled to break past Madrid's midfield, which was well-patrolled by Guti and David Beckham. When they did get through, Iker Casillas was up to the challenge, saving from Zé Roberto and Roy Makaay in the first half before substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger twice went close near the end.

Hitzfeld disappointed
Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld was frustrated that his side could not repeat their first-leg performance: "We thought we had a chance of qualifying but it's fair to say that we did not play as well here as we did in Munich. Madrid started well but we thought we could start to control matters - unfortunately, they scored and perhaps our defence was at fault for that goal."

'Luck against us'
Hitzfeld went on to claim that Madrid had more luck over the two games: "We had two or three good chances but luck was not on our side - all the good fortune came Madrid's way. Though Solari for Madrid, in particular, played a very good game." Yet there were positives for the Bayern coach to cling on to. "Over the past two weeks, it's clear that we are playing much better than before. I am sure that we can now overtake [SV] Werder Bremen in the league."

Record maintained
Madrid maintain their record of never having lost a home game to Bayern in the Champions League and progress to Friday's quarter-final draw. Queiroz concluded: "I would like to congratulate Bayern for their excellent football. This match tonight could have been the final."

Last updated: 11/03/04 10.50CET

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