Carlo Ancelotti has asked the Real Madrid fans to inspire their team to yet another UEFA Champions League final by giving them an unforgettable night in the second leg of their semi-final clash against Manchester City.
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti beckons on fans to create an unforgettable second leg
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has sounded the war horn ahead of his side's semi-final return leg against Manchester City.
Ancelotti saw his side concede two goals inside the first 10 minutes, and it looked as though the 13-time champions were on the ropes. The veteran tactician believes his team could have done better and that his side gave away some of the goals they conceded.
He, however, commended the response from his team and is relieved to know that they still have a fighting chance in the return leg.
“I'm a bit frustrated because we came second best in many of our duels in the first half, and they scored two goals that we could have avoided had we been paying attention," Ancelotti said.
We managed to produce a reaction and keep the game alive ahead of the return leg.
"It's a defeat that keeps us in the tie ahead of the second match at the Bernabéu We’ve got to improve defensively because we’ve got the quality up top to pose them problems in the return leg". Ancelotti said.
Real Madrid was without defensive lynchpin Casemiero, and many suggested that the Brazilian's absence resulted in the early dominance from Manchester City. Although the midfielder sat this match out injured, Ancelotti revealed that he plans to play a more pragmatic game in Madrid.
“I think we’ll struggle to see a similar and equally open game like the one we did here tonight. It will be a different match. Manchester City still has the advantage, and you have got to take that into account." Ancelotti said.
Ancelotti acknowledged that it would take a spirited performance in the second leg to seal a place in the finals, and he took the opportunity to rally fans ahead of what promised to be an epic match.
"I hope that our fans demand a better performance from us to reach the final. Our fans have to be ready for the return leg because we're going to fight to make it another magical night.” Ancelotti said.
Benzema scores 40th goal
Karim Benzema kept the travelling side in the contest with a brace and after missing two penalties against Osasuna, the Frenchman confidently steppe dup to score a 'panenka' penalty to bring the score his side's third goal.
Despite the general disappointment, Ancelotti could not help but praise his talismanic striker, who now has 41 goals this season.
“Karim [Benzema] played really well, as he always does. He’s shown great character to take the penalty, and he scored it spectacularly. I was surprised he took it that way." Ancelotti said.
Real Madrid will host Espanyol on April 30 before the thrilling second leg clash with Manchester City on May 4.