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Zidane: “The plan was always to play 4-3-3, losing Varane didn’t change that”

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The coach was delighted with the first leg win.

Real Madrid v Liverpool FC - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Leg One Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane was obviously delighted with Real Madrid’s 3-1 victory over Liverpool on Tuesday night, even if the coach warned that the tie is far from over. Reflecting on the win in his post-match talk with the media, he said: “I feel good. There’s a mix of everything. We had a great game, although we had a bit of difficulty at the start of the second half. I’m proud of everyone. But, there’s a second leg. We have to be happy and satisfied, but there’s a second leg.”

The coach also revealed that the late loss of Raphaël Varane didn’t affect the team too much tactically, stating that the plan all along was the use a 4-3-3. He said: “We didn’t change anything, just changing Éder Militão for Raphael. The plan was to play 4-3-3 with Raphael. We knew there was something there [with the long passes forward] We know their full-backs are attacking, so with the quality we have with Toni Kroos and Vinícius we scored a fantastic first goal.”

There was further praise for Vinícius, with Zidane saying: “I’m happy because he needed to score, just like Marco Asensio or Karim Benzema need to score. He’s playing well. When a player scores one goal, he has extra energy.”

Finally, Zidane was asked about Saturday’s Clásico, but he’s not thinking about that match yet. He said: “We have to enjoy this game today, then look at it tomorrow. Although not even tomorrow. We’re calm. The game is on Saturday. We just need to recover well.”