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Lopez urges Real Madrid not to sit on lead

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09 Apr 2013 05:46:54

Lopez urges Real Madrid not to sit on lead

Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez has said scoring will be the key as his side look to defend a 3-0 lead when they travel to face Galatasaray for the second-leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.

Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain have put Los Blancos within touching distance of their third consecutive Champions League semi-final, but Lopez insists they have to maintain their attacking instinct for the second-leg.

"The tie is not decided because we know what football is like and we are going to a difficult ground to play a team that is better than they showed in the first-leg," he told the club's website.

"It is obvious that 3-0 is a very good result for us, but I think the key will be to score a goal there and then that will practically put us through.

"Our mentality has to be to go there and score. To rely on the 3-0 would be an error."

Despite the deficit facing their side, the Galatasaray fans are still sure to create a hostile atmosphere at the Turk Telekom Arena, but Lopez is confident Madrid's players have the experience to cope with such surroundings.

"Although the players here are very young, they have a lot of experience. They are all internationals and have played in championships worldwide with their national teams and other teams.

"In this sense I don't think age influences anything, it is the team that influences matters. The intention we have to show is to go there and try to stop the atmosphere that is going to be in their favour."

The Spanish champions will travel to Turkey without the suspended Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso as they picked up cautions late on in the first-leg to ensure they would not risk suspension for the semi-finals.

Luka Modric and Pepe therefore look set to deputise for the Spanish international duo, whilst Kaka has also been left out of the squad after coming off with a slight injury problem in Saturday's 5-1 win over Levante.

Whilst qualification for the last four now seems beyond Galatasaray, midfielder Felipe Melo is determined to round-off what has been a highly successful campaign for the Turkish champions with a famous victory on the night.

"The return game will be just as hard. Being three goals behind means we must go all out and that will mean leaving spaces in which they can play," he told Uefa.com.

"Nothing is impossible in football though. As long as there is a chance, I will always believe.

"Prior to the first-leg we had a 50 percent chance of getting through. That's down to 10 percent now. If we are to go out at home, let's look to do it with our heads held high."

However, Fatih Terim's side are also hampered by suspension as their top-scorer Burak Yilmaz and defender Dany Nounkeu also saw yellow cards at the Bernabeu that will keep them out of the return.


AFP

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