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Carlo Ancelotti says they beat Manchester City despite ‘not being used to defend like this’

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Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has said that his side is not used to defending like they did against Manchester City during their quarter-final win in the UEFA Champions League.

Speaking after the game, the Italian mentioned that although City had more control of the ball, his players defended excellently to thwart Pep Guardiola’s side.

A quick look at the statistics explains how dominant City were, having attempted 33 shots as compared to Madrid’s eight, enjoying a whopping 68% of ball possession and playing an impressive 920 passes throughout the game.

Speaking after the game, though, Ancelotti had nothing but admiration for his team and he was quoted as saying, “We are not used to defending like this, so I am very proud of this team. They did so well against the reigning European champions.

“You can’t explain it. We started well, we took the lead and then we started to defend, to suffer, to qualify. 

“We thought we would play differently, but when we took the lead we dropped the block too much. And City had more control. They always do. We fought and we sacrificed, for me, it was the only way to get out of this tie alive”. 

After the match had ended, Ancelotti was seen conversing with City manager Pep Guardiola and upon asking what was discussed during this chat, Ancelotti said,

“He congratulated us on qualifying. He wished us luck. He is a gentleman. This club, City, is a club of gentlemen.”

“We are very happy to reach the semi-final, especially after eliminating the European champion, which is a great team,” he added.

Real Madrid have no injury concerns

Carlo Ancelotti is proud of his team. (Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images)

Ancelotti praised his team’s resilience in reaching the Champions League semi-finals after a thrilling match, emphasizing that one should never underestimate his side, even when they are considered the second favourites.

“You should never consider Real Madrid for dead because Real Madrid never dies.”

Furthermore, there were a few moments of panic for Real Madrid in terms of player fitness, with the likes of Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Jr needing special attention.

However, while speaking about it, Ancelotti said that there is nothing to worry about. “We are very good, we have no physical problems. We have time until Sunday. We are going to recover and we have to realize that we did something very good.”

Lastly, he acknowledged that this tie was always going to be close, but he is proud of how his players approached the penalties.

“This tie has always been close. When we changed the system we fixed the line at the back a little better. We’re pretty used to them having possession. 

“In the penalties, there was a lot of confidence in the players, they were very calm, I was not so much. In the end, it turned out well,” he said.

Source of quotes: Exxen Live post-match interview

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Real Madrid News

‘Me and Zizou…’ – Toni Kroos teases iconic team-up for Real Madrid Legends team

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has said that during a recent training session, he bumped into Raul, a former striker and current Castilla manager, who confessed to him that he did not like his decision to retire from the game.

The midfielder added that he would now be interested in playing the Legends match where the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Roberto Carlos and Raul participate. 

The veteran admitted that playing alongside these legends one day would be quite exciting.

“When I left the training yesterday, Raul was outside. He told me that he did not like the decision at first but found something positive because now I’m definitely playing this legends game with him,” said Kroos on his podcast

“He said I had to be there. Me and Zizou playing behind him, Figo on the right, and RC3 (Roberto Carlos) at the back. That could be funny,” he added.

Life after Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos would love to play with Zinedine Zidane. (Photo credit: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

During the early hours of Tuesday, May 21, Kroos announced that he would retire from professional football after the upcoming European Championship in his home country.

As a result, Real Madrid now have to work on an alternate strategy to plan life beyond Kroos. As suggested before, the Los Blancos are of the idea that at present, there is no one in the market who can fill the void.

On the other hand, though, Dani Ceballos’ chances of staying have now increased. At the same time, there are reports that Joshua Kimmich is being monitored, but nothing seems concrete yet.

For now, Real Madrid are largely expected to rely on the current roster as the likes of Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde and even Jude Bellingham are more than capable of occupying Kroos’ position.

If even that does not work out, the team from the Spanish capital can look into the youth system to rope in a capable alternative.

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