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Carlo Ancelotti talks following Real Madrid 1-1 Man City: “We deserved to win”



Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Real Madrid held onto a 1-1 draw to Manchester City in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal on Tuesday night. The Merengues had the home advantage, but it was Pep Guardiola’s team that dominated the proceedings for the most part.

Viniciuds Jr opened the scoring with a bullet strike into the top corner in the first half. Kevin de Bruyne, however, spoilt Los Blancos’ party with a stunning equaliser after the break.

Heading into the second leg next week, nothing less than a win will suffice for the defending champions. Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the plan ahead and the display on Tuesday, amongst other topics, in his post-match press conference. Here are the snippets from his interaction.

The Italian tactician opened his presser with an overview of the game that unfolded against the Premier League champions and maintained that his side deserved more for the manner in which they played.

“We deserved to win. We managed the game well.”

Erling Haaland has been the centre-piece of Guardiola’s setup this season, scoring more than 50 goals in his first season at the club. Ancelotti, however, stressed that Real Madrid did not place any special emphasis on the Norweigan international.

“We didn’t focus on Haaland. Modrić, Kroos, Valverde did very well with the task to stop Gundogan & De Bruyne between lines.”

The calendar has been ruthless towards Real Madrid at the tail-end of the season. Speaking about his men taking to the field less than three days after the Copa del Rey final, the coach said,

“Even though we just played on Saturday at midnight [the Copa del Rey final]. I have to give credit to the lads because they were really good tonight despite having a bit of rest between the two games.”

The Italian coach had special words for Antonio Rudiger who filled in for the suspended Eder Militao in the starting lineup. The German managed six defensive actions in the game and was critical in keeping Haaland silent.

“Rudiger? He was very good. He’s a player with a lot of experience and high quality. It wasn’t easy, but he played very well.”

Kevin de Bruyne’s equaliser in the second half was a deserved one for Manchester City considering the manner in which they played.

However, there was a moment in the buildup that sparked controversy when Bernardo Silva seemingly failed to keep the ball in play. Ancelotti gave his two cents on the situation.

“beIN showed the ball was out. We all saw it, 3D technology. But VAR didn’t see it.”

The Real Madrid coach also showered praise on Eduardo Camavinga for his performance and gave an insight into how he likes to utilise the player and maximise his output.

“Sometimes we try to make him play in his natural position instead of full back because as a player he likes to play deep and can create problems for the opponent, especially in the second half where he was playing more from the inside and helping Vini.”

Speaking about what had to improve about the performance heading into the second leg at Etihad, Ancelotti highlighted the possession disparity as his primary concern.

“In the first 20 minutes we could have done better but we were in good control of the ball, and then we started to take control of things. We had to find the ball more and try to have possession of it, which we will try to improve in the second leg.”

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid president dreaming of trident attack featuring €180 million-rated French starlet



mbappe real madrid
Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid have drawn a comprehensive roadmap for the upcoming summer transfer window and the club’s squad planning ahead of the new season, but as far as the club’s ambition is concerned, the objective is to sign Kylian Mbappe in 2024.

Real Madrid are expected to revolve everything around the idea of signing the PSG superstar next year, reports Alfredo Matilla and Sergio Santos.

As per the two Spanish journalists, Florentino Perez is envisioning a Real Madrid strikeforce comprising Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior, and Mbappe.

The report points out that Real Madrid view the Frenchman as a realistic target as they expect him not to accept the option of extending his contract at PSG until 2025 next year. His fallout with the PSG has been already well-documented this year.

With Les Parisien seemingly failing to live up to Mbappe’s ambition, it could only be a matter of time before he opts to leave the club. To that end, Real Madrid will be prepared, especially at the end of next season.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid are starting to lose hope of signing Erling Haaland, because of the striker’s excellent relationship with Pep Guardiola which could keep him at Man City beyond 2024. Mbappe, therefore, has emerged as the top target for Los Blancos.

The potential strikeforce comprising Vinicius, Rodrygo and Mbappe could see Real Madrid operating in a 4-3-3 formation, with Mbappe playing at the centre. It must be noted that the club are also involved in the pursuit of Kai Havertz.

The German could be an intriguing addition to this strikeforce – potentially making Real Madrid one of the most feared attacking sides in Europe. However, it remains to be seen whether or not Los Blancos can actually manage to pull the signing of Mbappe or Havertz in the near future.

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