Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Madrid beat Liverpool to return to Champions League semi-final


LIVERPOOL: Zinedine Zidane has shown Jurgen Klopp just how to turn a season around.

Zidane is leading Real Madrid into the semifinals of the Champions League. Klopp will finish the season without a trophy.

A 0-0 draw at Anfield in the quarterfin­als on Wednesday protected a 3-1 advantage from the first leg for Madrid. The record 13-time European champions are back in the semifinals where Chelsea awaits for the first time since 2018 when Zidane lifted the European Cup for a third consecutiv­e season by beating Klopp's Liverpool in the final.

"We're all pulling together," Zidane said, "and this side always does that and it always wants more."

The victory in the 2018 final was Zidane's last game before ending his first stint in charge. He was tempted back in 2019 following disappoint­ing results, but this season looked to be unraveling just a few months ago.

Trailing Atletico Madrid by 10 points in La Liga in January, the defending champions are now just a single point behind and the double is on.

"We have to be really happy with what we're doing at the moment," Zidane said.

"It's been a complicate­d season."

For Liverpool, it's turning into a miserable season which is now sure to end without a trophy.

It's quite a comedown for Klopp's side, which won the Champions League in 2019 after losing the 2018 final to Madrid and ended a 30-year English championsh­ip drought by winning the Premier League by an 18-point margin in 2020.

Now Liverpool is struggling to even make the Champions League places, sitting three points outside the top four with seven games to go.

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