Real Madrid: Varane holds hand up for Manchester City defeat
Manchester City capitalised on two mistakes from Raphael Varane to beat Real Madrid and progress to the quarter finals. The defender accepted responsibility.
Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane assumed the blame for this side's Champions League exit at the hands of Manchester City on Friday night. Pep Guardiola's side won 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium to claim a 4-2 aggregate victory and reach the quarter-finals, where they will face Olympique Lyon.
Raheem Sterling put City ahead after Varane lost possession to Gabriel Jesus with nine minutes on the click. Karim Benzema equalised but Jesus restored City's advantage after Varane made a mess of a header and then failed to nod the ball back to goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. It was a rare poor performance from the France international, who was without usual centre-back partner Sergio Ramos due to suspension, and he was prepared to accept responsibility.
"This defeat is mine. I have to assume that. This defeat is my responsibility," he told Movistar. "We prepared well for it, but mistakes cost you. I can't explain the mistakes - it can happen in football. I'm sad for my team mates. When it was 1-1, we had a chance to go through and today it didn't go well. This has not happened to me very often before. You have to have character to come back stronger."
Zidane's first Champions League knockout defeat
The defeat marked the first time Zinedine Zidane has lost a Champions League knockout tie as boss, but he maintains Madrid's LaLiga title triumph means their season has been positive. "Unfortunately, he [Varane] made a couple of errors, we can't be happy, obviously," Zidane said. "We've lost a game and we're knocked out. We're proud of what we've achieved throughout the whole season. This is football. We've lost this game against a good side. You have to accept it. We had chances to score. The second half, we were a little bit better. Ninety-five per cent of what we've achieved this season has been excellent. Today, we've played against a good team and we have to accept it."
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