Diego Simeone believes comeback against Real Madrid is possible

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane hailed the "unique" talents of Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portugal attacker netted a hat-trick in the 3-0 Champions League semi-final first-leg win over city rivals Atletico at the Bernabeu yesterday morning (Singapore time). The Portuguese star has scored eight goals over the last three matches (!) Real have played in the Champions League.

"Cristiano is a goalscorer".

"We have the return leg and I say to my players and to the fans that yes, we can".

Diego Simeone: "I told the side that we need to get over it, forget it, football is marvellous".

Real dominated from start to finish with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick, while Atletico created only two chances in the first half.

Victory extended Real's hex over Atletico in the Champions League over the past four seasons. I'm pleased because whenever a player comes off, whoever comes on does a great job, it's impressive.

"We know exactly how we have to play. I will always try to give everything for them".

Simeone had to improvise by playing central defender Lucas Hernandez at right back, although that change didn't appear to affect Atletico too much.

"I don't think it's impossible", he said in a post-match interview with Mega. Today Isco played as a number 10 and was fantastic. I feel very good, I have prepared myself to be in good shape for the final stages of LaLiga and the Champions League.

"As I've said, we have a slight advantage and we are one step closer to Cardiff".

The defending European champion wants to make the most of home advantage in Tuesday's first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and avoid the need for a hard comeback at the Vicente Calderon Stadium - where Atletico has an impressive record in European games. "It's far from easy to score three goals against tough opposition, but we've got to keep going".

He said: "We will fight and give our all in the second leg". It is the fruit of the work of the whole team, my work, all the people who work in the club and the fans, who always support us. "We hope that it will happen".

  • Julie Sanders