Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and coach Zinedine Zidane attend a training session at the Valdebebas training grounds in Madrid, Spain, on Tuesday. Picture: REUTERS/Sergio Perez
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and coach Zinedine Zidane attend a training session at the Valdebebas training grounds in Madrid, Spain, on Tuesday. Picture: REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Madrid — Real Madrid will attack city rivals Atletico Madrid in their Champions League semifinal second leg and not sit back and defend their 3-0 lead as they chase a place in the final, says coach Zinedine Zidane.

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 said on the eve of Wednesday’s game at the Vicente Calderon.

"We’ll see what happens then, but our aim won’t change, the result changes nothing and we’re going to try and 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 hit a treble in the quarterfinal second leg against Bayern Munich.

He has shone in games against Real’s neighbours this season, also scoring all three goals in their 3-0 win at Atletico in the league in November.

Atletico’s 51-year-old stadium will close in the off-season when Diego Simeone’s side will move to the new 67,000-capacity Wanda Metropolitano stadium in the north of the Spanish capital.

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 coach when he steered Los Blancos to a penalty shoot-out victory over Atletico in 2016.

The Frenchman is on the cusp of a sixth Champions League final either on the pitch or in the dugout.

"I feel great," Zidane said.

"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 coach Simeone has not given up hope of a remarkable turnaround.

He offered a typically defiant message ahead of the second leg, alluding to his side’s remarkable title win in 2014 and Champions League successes over the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Bayern Munich.

"On Wednesday, we have an extremely difficult game, which for some would be impossible, but not for us," Simeone told reporters. "After the last game, I told the players it was very tough, that we’re facing the best team in the world that scores in every game, but we can do it. I’m convinced we can, if I wasn’t I wouldn’t say so."

Reuters

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