Gonzalo Higuaín stated his desire for Real Madrid CF to qualify for the first knockout round as Group C winners after his first-half strike against FC Zürich helped Los Merengues to a 1-0 victory.
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Real Madrid CF's Gonzalo Higuaín stated his desire for Los Merengues to qualify for the UEFA Champions League first knockout round as Group C winners after the Argentinian's first-half strike against FC Zürich helped his team to a 1-0 win.
The 21-year-old hit the target against the Swiss champions on Matchday 1 when Madrid registered a 5-2 victory and he was on hand again to inflict more pain on a Zürich side now resigned to finishing bottom following defeat at the Santiago Bernabéu. "It was a tough game but the goal helped us to calm down a bit and made us play more together," the player known as 'Pipita' told uefa.com. "Personally I was thrilled to score; an attacker is always happy when he gets himself on the scoresheet."
Manuel Pellegrini's side can seal their passage through to the next phase with a draw against Olympique de Marseille when they travel to the Stade Vélodrome on 8 December, a game Higuaín is relishing. "We've completed a huge part of the qualification process now and we must finish the job in Marseille; it is up to us if we want to finish the group as winners," he said before dismissing criticism from some quarters over the team's style of play this term. "We are leaders in the competitions we are competing in. Perhaps our play is slightly stop-start, but we're not far off the level we want to be at."
Higuaín's Portuguese team-mate Pepe, meanwhile, praised the visitors for their efforts in the Spanish capital before explaining that winning was the all-important factor for Madrid. "We knew it was going to be hard and our opponents came here and made us work; they demonstrated their worth out on the pitch," the defender told uefa.com. "We managed to win 1-0 and we are practically qualified. We're winning games and that's what we want to be doing. We've added three points tonight and we'll be looking for three more in our next game in the competition."