Ancelotti: Bernabeu must be ready, Real Madrid will fight for magic night

Carlo Ancelotti analysed Real Madrid’s defeat at the Etihad Stadium in a press conference and encouraged the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu crowd to support the team in the return leg.

Los Blancos were a defensive disaster on Tuesday but escaped with just a one-goal deficit after an entertaining 4-3 in England ahead of May 4’s second leg in the Spanish capital.

“We have to be ready,” Ancelotti said, speaking directly to those who will attend at the Bernabeu for the second leg. “We are going to fight for another magical night.”

Karim Benzema was Real Madrid’s saviour again, and Luka Modric’s substitution raised some eyebrows.

“Karim played a great game, as always,” Ancelotti said. “He had the personality to take the penalty spectacularly.

“Modric had a great game, but sometimes you have to put on a fresh player for 10-15 minutes to help you get the ball.

“I didn’t take him off because he was playing badly. Ceballos did very well, he came on with a lot of personality.”

The game started dreadfully for Real Madrid, and the Italian admitted to finding himself annoyed and knowing that they need to improve defensively to stand a chance of reaching the final.

“A bit frustrated, it’s true,” Ancelotti said. “In the first half we lost a lot of individual duels.

“They scored two goals that could have been avoided with a little more attention. It happened, we reacted and we have the game alive for the second leg.

“We started very badly, we were too soft. We conceded two goals and from then on we showed what we have shown in recent times, a great capacity to react.

“We were in the game until the end, we competed. We have to defend better. We did well with the ball, with many chances. For the second leg we have to defend better, it’s too important.”

Manchester City will take a slight advantage to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu for their Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid after the two sides played out a breathtaking seven-goal thriller at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.

Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti couldn’t have looked more different on the sidelines on the night, with the Catalan as animated as ever while the Italian looked as cool as ever all while the game descended into beautiful chaos in front of them.

City came out flying from the start and Kevin De Bruyne had them in front inside two minutes, heading home from close range. That lead was doubled by Gabriel Jesus with just 10 minutes played and Real Madrid were at risk of collapsing and letting the tie slip.

The hosts had chances to make it 3-0, but failed to take them and were punished by Karim Benzema. With what was barely even a half-chance, the Frenchman turned in a gorgeously glanced volley from the edge of Ederson’s area with half an hour played.

Phil Foden restored City’s two-goal advantage shortly after half time after he himself had missed a big chance. But Real Madrid don’t know when they’re beaten, and Vinicius Junior scored a stunning goal to halve that deficit again, with a run and finish similar to that of Gareth Bale against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final at Mestalla.

Bernardo Silva smashed a fourth for City into the top corner when Los Blancos appeared to have stopped, expecting a freekick.

Benzema’s night wasn’t finished though, and he dispatched an audacious panenka penalty into the roof of Ederson’s net with eight minutes of the 90 left to play :

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Seven goals were scored in all, though most left the Etihad believing that there could have been countless more. The second leg is set up nicely, with Real Madrid welcoming Guardiola’s side on Wednesday, May 4.

 

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