Rookie Real Madrid coach, Zinedine Zidane has expressed his happiness at qualifying for the next round of the UEFA Champions League at the first time of asking.
Real Madrid beat Roma 2-0 at the Bernabeu to secure a place in the Champions League quarter-finals for the sixth year in a row.
Roma were trailing 2-0 from the first leg, but created enough chances during the first half to be at least on level terms as Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah missed great openings.
Madrid eventually made the Italians pay when Cristiano Ronaldo, who hit four goals in the 7-1 La Liga thrashing of Celta Vigo, scored from close range after 64 minutes, James Rodriguez adding a quick second to end any hopes of a recovery.
“It was a difficult game, but in the end we got our objective which was to go through, and we didn’t concede a goal,” Zidane told UEFA.com.
“Over the 90 minutes many things could have happened because we were up against a team with good and fast footballers, but we got the job done.”
Roma coach Luciano Spalletti, however, was in less complimentary mood about his squad, lamenting a lack of a cutting edge.
“We played well and deserve compliments, but the reality is we must grow in terms of mentality, conviction and determination,” Spalletti said to Italian television station Mediaset Premium.
“We are weak and at the first sign of difficulty we cannot be the team that we need to be. It is not as if Real Madrid are going through a great period of form and at the moment they are not irresistible.”
Spalletti’s side may have won their last seven Serie A games to climb to third in the table, but the Roma coach believes more hard work needs to be done.
“When I come back into the dressing room after the final whistle and see the players satisfied because they will get compliments for the performance, this creates a disappointment and pain in me that I cannot reconcile,” said Spalletti, who replaced Rudi Garcia in mid-January.
“When you go into the dressing room after a 2-0 defeat, you need to be angry and realise the chances you have thrown away over these two games.
“There are matches that will remain in football history forever and are short-cuts to world success, to let everyone see what you can do.
“The regrets are never if you lose, they are if you didn’t give everything and take the chance by the scruff of the neck. We have got to accept and understand that, otherwise we will just be hurting ourselves.”