Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ramos: Real Madrid in box seat

SoccerNews in Serie A 6 May 2015

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Sergio Ramos played down concerns after Real Madrid’s 2-1 loss at Juventus on Tuesday, claiming “any team” would be happy with such a scoreline away from home.

A second-half penalty from Carlos Tevez saw Juve win the UEFA Champions League first leg in Turin, while the hosts could have extended their lead even further but for a couple of late misses from Fernando Llorente.

But Ramos, who was widely criticised for a poor match in defensive midfield, told AS: “Any team would take being one goal away from the final, playing at home.”

A 1-0 win in Madrid next week would be enough for Ramos and Co. to advance to consecutive Champions League finals after Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal at Juventus Stadium.

Real attacking midfielder James Rodriguez defended Ramos’ performance in Italy, with the central defender under the spotlight despite a pass completion rate of 87 per cent, after being asked to play alongside Toni Kroos in midfield.

“Ramos was good,” Rodriguez said.

“We need to be united and support each other. They were good at the back, like a typical Italian side.”

Rodriguez added: “We have to have faith. We know we’re playing the return leg in our stadium and with our fans.

“The Bernabeu needs to support us and the fans need to turn it into a cauldron so we can go out to win. The tie is still even, we need to go out to win for Real Madrid to go through to the final.”

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