(Reuters) - Real Madrid will attack city rivals Atletico Madrid in their Champions League semi-final second leg and not sit back and defend their 3-0 lead as they chase a place in the final, coach Zinedine Zidane said on Tuesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick in a dominant first-leg display put the 11-times European champions on the brink of a third final in four years.
“We’re going to approach the second leg just as any other game, to go out strong and give everything,” Zidane told a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s game at the Vicente Calderon.
“We’ll see what happens then, but our aim will not change, the result changes nothing and we’re going to try to score.”
The prospect of going out to pile more misery on Atletico will be music to the ears of Ronaldo, who has scored eight times in the last three Champions League games and also hit a treble in the quarter-final second leg against Bayern Munich.
The Portuguese player has shone in games against Real’s neighbours this season, also scoring all three goals in their 3-0 win in November.
The scorer of a sensational volley against Bayer Leverkusen to win the 2002 Champions League for Real, Zidane joined an elite group to have won the Champions League as a player and a coach when he steered Los Blancos to a penalty shoot-out victory over Atletico last year.
The Frenchman is on the cusp of a sixth Champions League final either on the pitch or in the dugout. This includes the 2014 final when he was assistant to Carlo Ancelotti as Madrid beat Atletico to win their 10th European Cup.
“I feel great and I‘m not feeling any vertigo,” he said.
”This club relishes moments like this and we’re focused on tomorrow’s game. Whatever you have achieved in the past you need to keep proving yourself. We may have beaten them in two finals but it will still be a different game.
“They have their strengths and we have ours, the fact we’ve won two finals against them doesn’t mean we’re going to get through if we think it does then we’re making a big mistake.”
Atletico, who have reached three European Cup finals but lost each one, are clinging to the memory of their emphatic 4-0 win over Real in the league two years ago.
“I hope we can repeat it, we scored two early goals and that allowed us to sit back and then score two more. We’re going to play with all our weapons against a very dangerous side but we’re convinced we can do it,” said midfielder Gabi.
The Atletico captain also hopes their famously loyal fans can give them an extra push in the final European game in the Calderon, which is due to close this summer after 51 years, with Atletico moving to the 67,000 capacity Wanda Metropolitano.
“I got goosebumps when after the defeat in the Bernabeu all I could hear was 4,000 Atletico fans singing our anthem,” added Gabi.
“If there’s one thing this team is missing it’s a great comeback and tomorrow is a great occasion for it.”
Reporting by Richard Martin; editing by Richard Lough and Toby Davis