Carlo Ancelotti admitted Real Madrid must improve for their second leg against Manchester City next week, and will need the ‘magic’ of the Bernabeu to help them reach the Champions League final.
City lead Real 4-3 after a brilliantly entertaining first leg at the Etihad on Tuesday, but the Blues let two-goal leads slip three times as Ancelotti’s men gave themselves a fighting chance at the Bernabeu next week. Karim Benzema scored a brilliant double either side of Vinicius Jr’s solo goal in a game of high quality between the leaders of the Premier League and La Liga.
After the game, Ancelotti was full of praise for City but said Real’s defending was below what he would expect.
He told BT Sport: “As a supporter of football, it was a fantastic game, but as a manager of Madrid… we scored three important goals but didn’t defend so well, we could have defended better. We conceded two goals so early. We were able to react, we did well to keep the game open. We have a great dream to play the second game in the Bernabeu. We hope we can have chance to go to the final.
“This team, these players are able to not lose mind when things aren’t good. We did the same, the first 20 minutes were really difficult. After that, slowly, we came back into the game and kept the qualification open.
Asked if Real will need some ‘magic’ at the Bernabeu next week to reach the final, Ancelotti said: “We need it because we are going to play a really strong team, they showed fantastic quality today. We competed but we have to compete more in our stadium.”
Meanwhile, Karim Benzema, echoed his manager’s calls for magic in Madrid as he told Movistar: “We are going to say we lacked a bit of everything in this game – a bit of ambition, pressure, confidence.
“A defeat is never good because we are really excited about the Champions League. The most important thing is we never lay down our arms, we are all in this until the end.
Now we have to go to the Bernabéu and we will need our fans like never and we are going to do something magical, which is win.- Manchester Evening News