Ronaldo, Benzema injuries worry for Madrid

Madrid, April 27 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has admitted his side could be without star strikers Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema for the return leg of their Champions League football semi-final at home against Manchester City next Wednesday.

Real madrid were held to a goalless draw by Manchester City in the first leg match away at Manchester on Tuesday, reports Xinhua.

Ronaldo had participated in his side’s pre-game training session on Monday, but as soon as he stepped out on Tuesday for the pre-match warm up, he made a signal to the bench that he would not be able to play.

The striker suffered the injury against Villarreal in a La Liga match and missed last Saturday’s 3-2 win away against Rayo Vallecano.

Benzema meanwhile was able to overcome a muscle problem, but didn’t look comfortable on the pitch and was replaced at half-time on Tuesday.

“Cristiano suffered a relapse and that is why he didn’t play,” explained Zidane in his post-game press conference.

“Karim’s problem was different, he was able to play but he felt worse as the game went on. We didn’t want to take risks, so we will see if he is able to play in the return leg.”

The 0-0 draw means a win next week will take Madrid into the final.

But the fact they failed to score an away goal leaves them open to the danger of Manchester City scoring at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid and leaving them needing to score twice in order to qualify.

However, the injuries to Ronaldo and Benzema could affect more than their Champions League campaign as Saturday sees them travel to play against Real Sociedad in La Liga, knowing anything other than a win would mean the end of their La Liga title ambitions.

–IANS

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