DORTMUND, Germany, Sept 27, (AFP): Zinedine Zidane praised goal-scorers Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, who netted twice in a 3-1 victory as Real Madrid finally claimed a Champions League win at Borussia Dortmund.
Ronaldo marked his 150th European game with second-half goals after Bale’s stunning early volley gave Real the lead at Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored Dortmund’s consolation goal with just over half an hour left, but the Germans were simply out-played by holders Real.
Having also netted twice against APOEL, Ronaldo has now scored four goals in just two Champions League games this season.
“I’m happy for Cristiano … again! I’m delighted for Ronaldo and Bale,” said Zidane.
This is the first time Dortmund have lost at home to Real in seven European games while holders Madrid have now scored in 38 successive Champion League games.
“It is difficult to play in this stadium, we have never won here, so this victory was important to us, and the whole game was good for us from start to finish,” said Zidane.
“We had a lot of ball possession, that was the key.
“Dortmund played as impressively as ever, but we compensated well.”
Dortmund shaded possession and matched Real’s tally of 16 shots on goal and Zidane wanted to see more chances converted.
“We could have scored more. We had chances. The important thing is to score more than our opponents and we did that,” said the Frenchman.
“The side worked hard — Isco, (Luka) Modric, Casemiro and (Toni) Kroos were marvellous.
“Everyone was brilliant. It was a tremendous game.”
The result leaves Real top of Group H, just ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, who beat APOEL 3-0 away, with Dortmund third and six points adrift of Spurs, who they also lost 3-1 to in London.
Dortmund coach Peter Bosz gave an honest appraisal of his team, who were better than Real in virtually every statistic — apart from the scoreboard.
“We defend with 11 players and we attack with 11 players,” said the Dutchman, whose Dortmund shaded possession and match Real’s 16 shots on goal.
“We were just too late against a side who barely made a mistake and we have to defend better.
“We didn’t put any pressure on the ball during the game and it’s difficult against an opponent like that.
“We were always too late, we have to analyse the performance and do better in the future.
Dortmund should have been awarded a penalty with 13 minutes gone when Real captain Sergio Ramos cleared Maximilian Philipp’s shot off the line and the ball deflected off his hand.
“That was clearly a handball in the first-half, but we deserved to lose,” admitted Bosz.
Meanwhile, Varane extends deal: Raphael Varane joined a host of his Real Madrid teammates in recent weeks by signing a five-year contract extension to 2022 on Wednesday.
“Real Madrid C. F. and Varane have agreed to extend the player’s contract, which will see him remain at the club until June 30 2022,” the Spanish giants said in a statement.
Marcelo, Isco and Dani Carvajal have also extended their deals to 2022 over the past fortnight, whilst Karim Benzema signed on till 2021 as Real reward key members of the squad that became the first side to retain the Champions League trophy in June.