April 29, 2018 / 9:40 AM / 5 months ago

Zidane calls on Madrid fans to create best atmosphere ever against Bayern

MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane called on his club’s supporters to be at their noisiest against Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday as the Spanish side aim to reach the Champions League final for a third year in a row.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Real Madrid Press Conference - Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany - April 24, 2018 Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane during the press conference REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Real rode their luck in the Allianz Arena and lead 2-1 in the semi-final tie after grabbing a crucial victory in the first leg and Zidane expects another demanding game from the Bundesliga champions in the return fixture.

“We’re going to have to produce a huge performance so I ask the fans to make more noise than they’ve made in the club’s history because we’re going to need them to get to the final,” Zidane told reporters after beating Leganes 2-1 in La Liga on Saturday.

“It’s our game of the year and the supporters know it. We want the fans to be behind us from the first minute to the 90th.”

Double Champions League holders Madrid were also ahead of Bayern by the same scoreline in last year’s quarter-final but lost the return leg 2-1 at the Bernabeu and needed extra-time to finally knock the Germans out.

They also suffered an almighty scare in their last European home game in the quarter-finals falling 3-0 behind to Juventus before a last-gasp, disputed penalty scored by Cristiano Ronaldo sent them through 4-3 on aggregate.

“I don’t know if what happened against Juve and Bayern will help us, all I know is we have to produce a massive performance,” Zidane added.

“But we’re prepared and we’re determined. We’ll have to play like we never have before this year: we need concentration, determination, commitment, to win battles.

“We need to do everything you can think of in football and give everything to reach our objective which is to reach the final.”

Zidane heavily rotated his squad against Leganes in preparation for the game with Bayern, leaving out a host of regular starters including top scorer Ronaldo, captain Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Luka Modric and Marcelo and starting without Toni Kroos and Marco Asensio.

Gareth Bale scored the opening goal against Leganes after not playing against Bayern, while Borja Mayoral made the most of a rare start by scoring the second goal right before halftime. Darko Brasovic pulled one back for Leganes in the second half.

Madrid will be without defenders Nacho Fernandez and Dani Carvajal and influential midfielder Isco against Bayern due to injuries.

Reporting by Richard Martin; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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