Granada 1-4 Real Madrid: Visitors shrug off off-the-field problems to keep heat on leaders Atletico

Granada 1-4 Real Madrid: Visitors shrug off off-the-field problems to keep the heat on leaders Atletico Madrid as quickfire double from Alvaro Odriozola and Karim Benzema seals emphatic victory

Real Madrid held their nerve despite speculation over the future of Zinedine Zidane and Marcelo being dropped following a bust-up to keep the pressure on LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid.  

First-half strikes from Luka Modric and Rodrygo put the visitors in control, and even when Jorge Molina halved the deficit on 71 minutes they rarely looked troubled.

Substitute Alvaro Odriozola restored Real’s two-goal advantage after 75 minutes and less than 60 seconds later Karim Benzema made it four after latching onto an error from Granada keeper Rui Silva.

Real moved into second place on 78 points, two behind leaders Atletico Madrid with two games left to play.

Real travel to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday while Atleti host Osasuna on the same day, with all matches kicking off simultaneously.

Should Real fail to beat Bilbao, Atletico will be champions if they overcome Osasuna.

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Zinedine Zidane will walk away from Real Madrid at the end of the season even if they win LaLiga

EXCLUSIVE: Fed-up Zinedine Zidane will walk away from Real Madrid at the end of the season even if they WIN LaLiga – with club legend Raul or ex-Juventus boss Max Allegri in line to replace him 

  • Zinedine Zidane has all but made up his mind to quit Real Madrid in the summer
  • His side will be two points off leaders Atletico with a win against Granada tonight
  • Zidane will be an immediate target for Juventus and the France national team
  • Madrid chief Florentino Perez could turn to club legend and youth coach Raul
  • Ex-Juve and AC Milan boss Max Allegri is also in the running for the Madrid job 

Zinedine Zidane will almost certainly leave Real Madrid at the end of this season, regardless of whether the team wins La Liga.

They face Granada tonight and if they pick up a win they will still be just two points behind Atletico Madrid with two games to go.

But the 48-year-old coach, who has won two league titles and three Champions League crowns in less than four seasons, has all but made up his mind to walk away after the final game of the campaign at home to Villarreal on May 23.

Zinedine Zidane will almost certainly leave Real Madrid – again – at the end of this season 

Club legend and youth coach Raul is in the running to take over from Zidane for next season

Club legend and youth coach Raul is in the running to take over from Zidane for next season 

Zidane will be an immediate target for Juventus and for the France national side if they make a change after the Euros this summer. 

Madrid president Florentino Perez will be under pressure to promote Raul to replace him. He currently has the club’s youth team on the verge of promotion but Perez could also turn to Max Allegri.

Zidane has sensed for some time that he no longer has the backing of Perez and even a third league title, one that will make him the first coach to retain the league for Madrid since Leo Beenhakker in 1989, is unlikely to change his mind.

Zidane has maintained the overwhelming support of the dressing room this season and a disagreement this week with left back Marcelo, leading to him being left out of the squad for tonight’s game, are not at the heart of the coach’s discontent.

The Brazilian will be off at the end of the season anyway. Their falling out is being seen more as a symptom than a cause of what looks like an imminent divorce.

Marcelo is reported to have grown 'frustrated' at Zidane's tactics and his team selections

Marcelo is reported to have grown ‘frustrated’ at Zidane’s tactics and his team selections

Marcelo believed Zidane was overly-critical of a recent Real Madrid training session when he had urged his players to prepare with more intensity for a must-win game.

He spoke back to the manager in front of the squad and is omitted from the trip to Granada. He may not have played anyway because despite having depleted options in defence for tonight’s game, Zidane was considering picking promising 19-year-old Miguel Gutierrez to start.

The young players who have emerged in recent weeks are now the only thing that could keep Zidane at Madrid. If he is persuaded to build a new team around Gutierrez, centre-back Victor Chust, midfielders Sergio Arribas and Antonio Blanco, with the prospect of the club continuing its pursuit of Kylian Mbappe then his mind could be changed.

But he does not believe there is a will in the Real Madrid board room to convince him to stay.

Madrid have threadbare resources going into tonight’s game. Alvaro Odriozola, Eder Militao Nacho Fernandez and Gutierrez will be the back four because they are the last four fit defenders.

Zidane’s midfield trinity of Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric are fit to start alongside another of his favourites, the Uruguayan midfielder Fede Valverde. And he must decide between Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard to partner Karim Benzema.

If Madrid are beaten then Atletico could win La Liga by winning at home to Osasuna this Sunday.

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Levante 3-3 Barcelona: Barca blow chance to go top of LaLiga as Leon nets late equaliser for hosts

Levante 3-3 Barcelona: Barca blow the chance to go top of LaLiga despite Lionel Messi and Pedri firing them into two-goal lead as Sergio Leon nets late equaliser for hosts

Barcelona twice threw away the lead to draw 3-3 at Levante on Tuesday in a potentially fatal blow to their chances of winning the La Liga title.

The draw took Barca into second place in the standings on 76 points, one behind leaders Atletico Madrid and one ahead of third-placed Real Madrid, who both have a game in hand.

Lionel Messi put a dominant Barca in front after 26 minutes and then played a part in Pedri tapping in their second goal in the 34th after a sweeping team move.

Levante got a foothold in the game with a header from Gonzalo Melero in the 57th and talismanic forward Jose Luis Morales equalised three minutes later.

Ousmane Dembele restored Barca’s lead in the 64th and looked to have sent Ronald Koeman’s side provisionally top of the standings but Levante came back at them and equalised again when striker Sergio Leon netted at the near post in the 83rd.

Atletico can go four points clear of the Catalans with victory at home to Real Sociedad on Wednesday, while Real Madrid visit Granada on Thursday.

More to follow 

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Big Six ‘to be handed significant additional fines by the Premier League on top of UEFA sanctions’

England’s Big Six ‘to be handed significant additional fines by the Premier League to go with UEFA’s sanctions’ that included a combined £13m goodwill gesture to grassroots charities and five per cent of one European season revenue

  • The ‘Big Six’ were given financial sanctions by UEFA for the Super League plans 
  • Clubs are to pay £13m to grassroots charities and give some European revenue
  • Nine out of the 12 clubs signed a ‘Club Commitment Declaration’ to UEFA
  • The six English clubs will also be punished by the Premier League, say reports 

The ‘Big Six’ Premier League clubs will be handed additional fines from the Premier League for their role European Super League project, according to reports. 

On Friday, the 12 rebel clubs were told by UEFA to make a combined donation of £13million to grassroots charities and also hand over five per cent of their European competition revenue for one season start from the 2023-24 season. 

The English sides – consisting of London sides Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, the two Manchester clubs and Liverpool – also pledged allegiance to UEFA and the European Club Association along with AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid.

The ‘Big Six’ clubs will receive more Super League fines from the Premier League, say reports

UEFA handed out financial sanctions to the breakaway clubs on Friday as part of an agreement

UEFA handed out financial sanctions to the breakaway clubs on Friday as part of an agreement

But according to the Daily Telegraph, the Premier League will continue to provide financial sanctions on the Big Six sides, who all removed themselves from the project 48 hours after signing up last month. 

UEFA have already threatened the nine English sides who have agreed to the governing body’s demands with a £86million fine should they attempt a similar breakaway league-style project again.

Speaking about the deal with the nine European sides, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: ‘It takes a strong organisation to admit making a mistake, especially in these days of trial by social media. These clubs have done just that.

The Premier League will reportedly come down harshly on the six breakaway English clubs

The Premier League will reportedly come down harshly on the six breakaway English clubs

‘In accepting their commitments and willingness to repair the disruption they caused, Uefa wants to put this chapter behind it and move forward in a positive spirit.

‘These clubs recognised their mistakes quickly and have taken action to demonstrate their contrition and future commitment to European football.

‘The same cannot be said for the clubs that remain involved in the so-called Super League and Uefa will deal with those clubs subsequently.’

The ownerships at Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham have all made public declarations stating that those running the clubs will be responsible for any financial sanctions, and that the money will not come out of the club itself. 

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin oversaw a Club Commitment Declaration on Friday

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin oversaw a Club Commitment Declaration on Friday

Arsenal director Josh Kroenke, who helps the running of the club with his father Stan of Kroenke Sports Enterintament, said in a fans forum last month: ‘To confirm, KSE are covering all outside costs related to the ESL.’

‘Leadership is about recognising when you are wrong, correcting and apologising. It was never our intention to harm English football, we can talk Financial Fair Play, about racism, but for football pyramid stability we need to ensure we are maximising revenue. But we went about it the wrong way on this occasion.’ 

Tottenham, meanwhile, issued a statement that read: ‘Any fines will be the responsibility of the owners.’ 

Only three clubs – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus – have failed to both renounce the Super League and come to the same agreement with UEFA, who are expected to punish the European trio ‘appropriately’. 

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Barcelona assistant boss Alfred Schreuder confident of LaLiga title hopes

Barcelona ‘don’t look at other teams to win LaLiga, we trust our players’, says Alfred Schreuder – with assistant boss confident of title hopes as four-way race with Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Sevilla goes down to the wire

Barcelona will not be distracted by other teams as the LaLiga title race goes down to the wire, the club’s assistant Alfred Schreuder said.

Ronald Koeman’s deputy was speaking after seeing his side come from behind to defeat lowly Valencia 3-2 with Lionel Messi’s double helping the side keep pace with Real Madrid.

The rivals are on 74 points with four games left to play, while Atletico Madrid have a two-point lead and next face Barcelona.

Barcelona back themselves to win LaLiga this season, insists assistant boss Alfred Schreuder

Schreuder was quoted in Marca saying: ‘It will be very close, that’s also what we hoped in January.

‘We are there. We don’t have to look at other teams. We look at ourselves.

‘Sometimes we lose points, sometimes Atletico, sometimes Real, Sevilla… It won’t be the final game next week. We still have four games to go.

‘Everybody at Barcelona trusts our players (to win the title). We trust our players. That’s what they showed today again.’

After a goalless first half, Valencia drew first blood on 50 minutes when Gabriel Paulista nodded home from a corner and Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s appeals that he was impeded were waved away.

Lionel Messi saw a penalty saved on 57 minutes but scored from close range amid a scramble after the home side failed to remove the danger, and Antoine Griezmann put the visitors up 2-1.

Messi found the net again through a free kick on 69 minutes, and Carlos Soler’s superb late strike set up a tense finale, but Valencia could not find an equaliser and Barcelona kept the pressure on league leaders Atletico Madrid.

Koeman, who was sent off during a mid-week defeat to Granada, began a two-match touchline ban at the Mestalla, made four changes to his team.

Ronald Araujo and Clement Lenglet replaced Oscar Mingueza and Samuel Umtiti in defence, while Sergino Dest and 18-year-old Pedri were recalled in midfield at the expense of Sergi Roberto and Ilaix Moriba.

Schreuder, speaking about the game against Atletico, said: ‘It’s an important game. But we also have other teams (Real Madrid and Sevilla) who play the day after for the same position as us.

‘We look at game to game. Of course, we know that it’s a very important game (against) Atletico.’

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Real Madrid 2-0 Osasuna: Eder Militao and Casemiro keep hosts hopes of retaining LaLiga crown alive

Real Madrid 2-0 Osasuna: Eder Militao and Casemiro keep hosts hopes of retaining LaLiga crown alive by powering home header in second half to close gap on leaders Atletico Madrid to two points

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Real Madrid rested Toni Kroos and Luka Modric and still had enough to beat Osasuna and keep up the pace on La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid.

They had to sweat for the 2-0 victory, and no-one more than Eden Hazard who started brightly but faded badly and had just been substituted when Zinedine Zidane’s team finally took the lead on 76 minutes.

There was more collateral damage from the victory with Raphael Varane taken off at half time with a muscle problem in his right leg making him a doubt for Wednesday against Chelsea.

Karim Benzema looks dejected as Real Madrid went close in what was a frustrating half for Zinedine Zidane's men

Karim Benzema looks dejected as Real Madrid went close in what was a frustrating half for Zinedine Zidane’s men

Madrid are now two points behind leaders Atletico and three clear of Barcelona who play Valencia on Sunday night.

Chimy Avila started his first game since January 2020 for Osasuna. Real Madrid had Kroos, Modric and Nacho – all expected to start against Chelsea – on the bench, but started Hazard just behind Karim Benzema and he started well.

First there was a shot that went high and wide and then he reached the byline but went for goal instead of crossing. Sergio Herrera saved the shot and Vinicius miskicked the rebound.

Casemiro almost caught Herrera out with a shot from his own half and Courtois was caught out at the other end by an over-hit back pass from man of the match Eder Militao that sent the Belgian keeper scrambling back to his own goal to clear. Courtois had more work to do a moment later when Avila’s pass sent Manu Sanchez down the left and Courtois had to claw his deflected cross out from under his crossbar.

Eden Hazard started for Zinedine Zidane's men after what has been another injury-hit campaign for the Belgium international

Eden Hazard started for Zinedine Zidane’s men after what has been another injury-hit campaign for the Belgium international

Hazard came alive on the 25-minute mark. First there was a touch of genius on the touchline with a back-heeled pass that sent Asensio clear. Then he volleyed Marcelo’s cross into the ground and saw it tipped over the bar by Herrera.

The Osasuna keeper then saved brilliantly from Militao’s header from an Asensio cross. Madrid were now on top and Herrera saved again this time down low from Militao’s header. Madrid had managed ten shots in the first half hour.

They dominated the rest of the half although Avila dive-headed past Courtois from Manu Sanchez’ cross in the last minute before the break, having been a metre offside.

Nacho came on at the start of the second half with Varane off with muscle problems in his right leg. Militao shot over from Asensio’s free-kick and Vinicius was then gifted possession by Aridane but allowed the chance to fizzle out without a shot on goal.

Chimy Avila thought he had given the visitors a shock lead with a header but his effort was ruled out for offside

Chimy Avila thought he had given the visitors a shock lead with a header but his effort was ruled out for offside

Osasuna were similarly culpable when they broke four against two but it all ended with a tame Jon Moncayola shot straight at Courtois.

Rodrygo came on for the misfiring Vinicius and young left back Miguel Gutierrez replaced Marcelo. Kroos and Modric did not move from their seats in the stand of the Alfredo di Stefano. That suggested clearly where Zidane’s priority lied because Madrid appeared not to be making inroads but the goal soon came.

On the 70-minute mark Hazard was off. The early promise had come to nothing and the most positive thing to come out of the game for him was that he had negotiated 70 minutes without physical problems.

His exit coincided with Madrid taking the lead. The man who had replaced him, Isco, sent in a pinpoint corner and Militao headed past Herrera. The Brazilian defender had been Madrid’s best player and deserved his goal.

Having waited so long for the first, the second came along almost immediately. Benzema played the ball through to Casemiro and with his first touch he inadvertently rolled the ball past Herrera. Madrid could breathe easy. Benzema almost made it three but Herrera saved his shot.

A 3-0 would have been harsh on Osasuna but they were well beaten by a Madrid team still dreaming of a league and Champions League double.

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Barcelona set to appeal Ronald Koeman’s two game suspension

Barcelona set to appeal Ronald Koeman’s two game ban that would rule him out of critical Atletico Madrid clash after he was dismissed during Barca’s 2-1 home defeat to Granada

  • The defeat to Granada cost Barcelona top spot in La Liga with five games to go
  • Ronald Koeman has rejected claims that he disrespected the assistant referee 
  • The Spanish Football Federation increased the mandatory one game ban to two 
  • Barcelona host league leaders Atletico Madrid in a crucial game next Saturday 

Barcelona will appeal a two-game suspension handed to head coach Ronald Koeman that will rule him out of a critical clash against Atletico Madrid in the Spanish league title race.

Koeman was shown a red card during Barcelona’s 2-1 home loss to Granada on Thursday for his use of what the referee considered disrespectful language. That defeat cost his team the chance to sit atop of LaLiga with five games to go.

The Spanish Football Federation increased the mandatory one-game ban to two games after reviewing the case, prompting an appeal from Barcelona.

Ronald Koeman watches on as his Barcelona side lost 2-1 at home to Granada on Thursday

The Barca head coach was shown a red card after clashing with the assistant referee

The Barca head coach was shown a red card after clashing with the assistant referee

‘According to the referee report, I disrespected the assistant referee and for me that is not correct,’ Koeman said on Saturday.

‘To disrespect is to insult, and I was only commenting on several plays in a respectful manner.

‘The sending off bothers me because it is not fair,’ the Dutchman continued. ‘We will have to see what happens (regarding the appeal).’

Referee Pablo Gonzalez recorded in his match report that Koeman was shown a red card for saying to the referee assistant ‘what a character’ after being warned several times to watch his language. 

Koeman's suspension could rule him out of next weekend's crunch clash with Atletico Madrid

Koeman’s suspension could rule him out of next weekend’s crunch clash with Atletico Madrid

The federation’s competition committee then added a second game to the suspension on Friday night.

That would keep Koeman out of the dugout for Barcelona’s match at Valencia on Sunday and their next game against Atletico at the Nou Camp that will have a huge impact on the title race.

Atletico, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla are all in contention to win the most disputed league title in years.

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Real Madrid vs Chelsea – Champions League: Confirmed team news, TV channel, live stream, odds

Chelsea travel to Spain for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie against Real Madrid on Tuesday night. 

Thomas Tuchel is looking to guide Chelsea to an historic season in his first campaign with the club, having defeated Manchester City to reach the FA Cup final, while breezing past Porto in the quarter-finals to reach the Champions League final-four.  

Madrid also have their work cut out for them domestically, currently sat second and two points behind Atletico Madrid in the race for the La Liga title. The Champions League veterans proved their credentials once more in the quarter-finals with a dominant 3-1 aggregate win over Liverpool. 

Chelsea now have a serious chance to claim Champions League success for the first time since 2012, where they won their one and only title. Meanwhile, Madrid last reached the semi-finals in 2018, when they went on to lift the cup.  

There is also some added steel to the impending counter, with Madrid president Florentino Perez still adamant that all 12 European Super League clubs remain tied to the proposal, while Chelsea quickly reversed their decision to join and Roman Abramovic has since issued an apology to the fans. 

With the highly-anticipated spectacle now quickly approaching, Sportsmail takes you through the all-important information. 

With just four teams remaining, the focus now switches firmly towards the prestigious trophy

Zinedine Zidane is searching for a fourth Champions League title with Real Madrid

Thomas Tuchel is looking to guide Chelsea to a famous triumph in his first season in charge

Zinedine Zidane (left) and Thomas Tuchel (right) go head-to-head on Tuesday evening

When is Real Madrid vs Chelsea?

Chelsea travel to Spain to face Madrid in their Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday, April 27. 

The match will kick-off at 8pm BST at Madrid’s Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, with renovations currently taking place at their usual Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. 

Due to the prevalent coronavirus restrictions, the match will be played behind closed doors.  

Chelsea have a home tie against relegation-threatened Fulham in the Premier League to follow ahead of next week’s return leg, while Madrid face Osasuna as they bid to overtake Atletico Madrid in the race for the La Liga title. 

How to watch Champions League semi-final

The match will be broadcast live on BT Sport 2, with coverage getting underway at 7pm. 

Subscribers can also watch the game on both the BT website and app. 

Real Madrid vs Chelsea: Team news

Chelsea are coming into their crucial fixture against Madrid with close to the entirety of their squad available to Tuchel. 

The notable exception is that of Matte Kovacic, who will miss the first leg having struggled with a muscle injury as of late.  

Madrid have been handed a major boost with the return of Toni Kroos, who has missed their last three matches as a precautionary measure. 

Additionally, Eden Hazard could be in line to face his former club, having made a 15-minute cameo in Madrid’s draw with Real Betis on Saturday.  

Zidane will be without Ferland Mendy, however, with the full-back struggling with a calf problem. Meanwhile, captain Sergio Ramos is reportedly targeting a return for the second leg.  

Real Madrid vs Chelsea: Key Champions League stats

 Real Madrid

Group finish: 1st

Top scorer: Karim Benzema (5)

Most assists: Luka Modric (3)

Goals scored: 18

Goals conceded: 11

Chelsea 

Group finish: 1st

Top scorer: Olivier Giroud (6)

Most assists: Timo Werner (2)

Goals scored: 19

Goals conceded: 3

Routes to the semi-finals  

Vinicius Junior scored an emphatic brace as Madrid dumped Liverpool out of the competition

Vinicius Junior scored an emphatic brace as Madrid dumped Liverpool out of the competition

Mason Mount's phenomenal season continued as he scored a crucial goal against Porto

Mason Mount’s phenomenal season continued as he scored a crucial goal against Porto

Chelsea have enjoyed a dominant campaign in the Champions League this season, conceding just three goals and scoring 19 in their 10 matches played. 

They started their group campaign in disappointing fashion, however, drawing their opener 0-0 at home to Sevilla. 

The Blues never looked back from there, however, winning four matches on the bounce, before finishing their group stage with a 1-1 draw against FC Krasnodar, which saw them top their respective quartet. 

Chelsea’s impressive form has certainly continued into the knockout stages, where they have conceded just one goal in four matches, sealing a 3-0 aggregate win over La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid and a 2-1 win over Porto. 

In typical fashion, Madrid started the competition slowly with a home defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk that preceded a draw with Borussia Monchengladbach. 

They bounced back with four consecutive victories to top their group, before claiming a 3-0 aggregate win over Atalanta to progress to the quarter-finals. 

There, they came up against Liverpool in a repeat of the 2018 Champions League final, and again they emerged victorious, this time via a 3-1 aggregate win.  

Real Madrid vs Chelsea: The odds

Though Chelsea come into the clash full of confidence after beating West Ham in their crucial Premier League encounter, it’s Madrid who are favoured by the bookies in the first leg. 

Remarkably, given their respective stature in European football, the pair have met just three times in history, with Chelsea winning twice and the other result being a draw. 

They last met all the way back in 1998, when Chelsea beat their Spanish counterparts to win the UEFA Super Cup.     

Regardless, Los Blancos are the favourites to prevail, with odds of 7/5 to win the first leg, while Chelsea are the underdogs at 23/10. Meanwhile, a draw is at 21/10.   

*Odds as per Betfair and correct at the time of publication 

Champions League semi-finals in full  

Champions League semi-finals 

Tuesday, April 27

Wednesday, April 28

  • Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester City 

Tuesday, May 4

  • Manchester City vs Paris Saint-Germain

Wednesday May 5

Juventus loanee Alvarno Morata keen to stay beyond the season end

‘I would gladly stay here for life if I had the chance’: Alvaro Morata insists he is keen to carry on at Juventus past his season-long loan spell after netting his 17th goal of the season for Serie A giants… but admits ‘we players don’t have much choice’

  • Alvaro Morata is enjoying second spell at Juventus, on loan from Atletico Madrid
  • Spaniard said this week that he would gladly stay at the Serie A club ‘for life’ 
  • He then admitted ‘we players don’t have much choice’ on where they play
  • Morata scored his 17th goal of the season against Fiorentina at the weekend 

Alvaro Morata insists he would love to stay at Juventus past his season-long loan spell this season, but he ‘doesn’t have much choice’ in the matter.

The former Chelsea striker returned to the Allianz Arena in September on a loan spell from Atletico Madrid, and he has netted 17 goals in all competitions this season.

Despite his impressive form and desire to stay with the Serie A giants though, Morata admits he doesn’t have much say in where he goes next. 

Alvaro Morata celebrates after scoring his 17th goal of the season for Juventus on Sunday

The Spanish striker insists he would love to stay at the Serie A giants for the rest of his career

The Spanish striker insists he would love to stay at the Serie A giants for the rest of his career

‘Everyone knows I would gladly stay here for life if I had the chance, but this is a profession, football is a business and a lot of the time we players don’t have much choice,’ Morata told Sky Italia after Sunday’s draw with Fiorentina.

Juventus have endured a difficult season so far and currently sit fourth in Serie A, a long way off the pace of leaders Inter Milan.

In fact, with just five matches to go, they have 16 points to make up on their rivals, meaning just one more win for Inter Milan will make it mathematically impossible for Juve to retain their title.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Co have been unable to get any higher than fourth so far this season

Cristiano Ronaldo and Co have been unable to get any higher than fourth so far this season

Andrea Pirlo's side are heading towards their first season in 10 years without winning the title

Andrea Pirlo’s side are heading towards their first season in 10 years without winning the title

Speaking about the weekend’s draw at Fiorentina, Morata said: ‘We could have scored more, but we didn’t manage. We had a better attitude in the second half, which will make us win the next games.

‘I look serious because I don’t like not winning. We are having a difficult season. This year has been so difficult. It doesn’t matter who scores. It counts to win games. Today we proved we could win it.’

Morata is Juve’s second-top scorer this season with 15 Serie A goals, only behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s 29. 

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Champions League: Thomas Tuchel admits playing Real Madrid ‘is what you dream of as a little boy’

Thomas Tuchel admits playing Real Madrid in Europe ‘is what you dream of as a little boy’ as the Chelsea boss plots ‘adventurous football’ to get the better of Zinedine Zidane’s side in Tuesday’s semi-final first leg

  • Chelsea take on Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League 
  • Blues boss Thomas Tuchel described the heavyweight match-up as a ‘dream’
  • Real Madrid stand as the most successful side in the tournament’s rich history 
  • Both sides are looking to get an early advantage as they target Istanbul final 

Thomas Tuchel has revealed taking on Real Madrid in Europe is a ‘dream’ – but he does not want his Chelsea players to get starry eyed as the sides meet in the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday. 

Chelsea were not expected to progress beyond the last-16 when they were paired with LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid.

But Tuchel made an immediate impact and Chelsea have since come through Atletico and Porto to set up a thrilling last four with Real Madrid. 

‘This is what you dream of as a little boy, to play international games against Real Madrid, there’s no doubt about it,’ Tuchel said on the eve of Tuesday’s game.

‘It’s a big challenge and after it, we will be smarter and better. This will be a huge experience together. We are very happy to arrive at this level.’ 

Tuchel took over from Frank Lampard in January and has been revolutionary in stabilising their season, as well as generating great success in cup competitions. 

Chelsea are in the FA Cup final, where they will play Leicester, and they are also in a strong position to secure a top four spot in the Premier League. 

But the immediate focus is on Real Madrid and Tuchel knows facing Zinedine Zidane’s team, who have won the Champions League three times under his management, means it ‘cannot be harder’ to reach the final. 

‘Zidane has an incredible record, especially in the Champions League, which he won three times in a row which is pretty much impossible to do,’ Tuchel added. 

‘We arrived in the semi-final and on the highest level, we will play Real Madrid and it cannot be harder. That’s because they are the most experienced team in this competition. 

‘They will play these games with full confidence and awareness. They are on a very good run at the moment. Sixteen or so games unbeaten. I am sure we will arrive with confidence and true inner belief.’

Chelsea head to Spain on the back of a vital win in the league away to West Ham and Tuchel has urged his players to show immense courage and adventure on the road. 

He added: ‘I hope we can play adventurous football. We can play aggressive and intense football. 

‘We will fight them hard and let’s see who gets the win out of these two games.’

Chelsea will first go to Spain to play at Real Madrid’s Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano training facility before hosting the return on May 5.

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