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Real Madrid’s Varane takes responsibility for Champions League exit

Real Madrid’s Varane takes responsibility for Champions League exit

Raphael Varane
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Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane took the blame for this side’s Champions League exit at the hands of Manchester City on Friday.

Pep Guardiola’s side won 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium to claim a 4-2 aggregate victory and reach the quarter-finals, where they will face Lyon.

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Raheem Sterling put City ahead after Varane lost possession to Gabriel Jesus in just the ninth minute of the game.

Karim Benzema equalised but Jesus restored City’s advantage after Varane made a mess of a header and then failed to nod the ball back to Thibaut Courtois.

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It was a rare poor performance from the France international, who was without usual centre-back partner Sergio Ramos due to suspension, and he was prepared to accept responsibility.

“This defeat is mine. I have to assume that. This defeat is my responsibility,” he told Movistar.

“We prepared well for it, but mistakes cost you. I can’t explain the mistakes – it can happen in football.

“I’m sad for my team-mates. Until the 1-1, we had a chance to go through and today it didn’t go well.

“This has not happened to me very often before. You have to have character to come back stronger.”

The defeat marked the first time Zinedine Zidane has lost a Champions League knockout tie as boss, but he maintains Madrid’s LaLiga title triumph means their season has been positive.

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“Unfortunately, he [Varane] made a couple of errors, we can’t be happy, obviously,” Zidane said.

“We’ve lost a game and we’re knocked out. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved throughout the whole season. This is football. We’ve lost this game against a good side. You have to accept it.

“We had chances to score. The second half, we were a little bit better. Ninety-five per cent of what we’ve achieved this season has been excellent. Today, we’ve played against a good team and we have to accept it.”

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