Real Madrid predict something good in second leg with Man City

Carlo Ancelotti has backed his Real Madrid team to progress to the Champions League semifinals, saying they’ll look to repeat the performance that saw them draw 3-3 with Manchester City on Tuesday in next week’s second leg.

Bernardo Silva put City ahead early on at the Santiago Bernabeu, before a Rúben Dias own goal and Rodrygo‘s finish two minutes later saw Madrid lead at half-time.

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Spectacular strikes from Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol gave City the advantage again, before Fede Valverde made it 3-3 to leave the tie all square ahead of the return leg on Wednesday April 17.

“We wanted to take a slight advantage, but we have to be satisfied, because we competed,” Ancelotti told Movistar. “If we do that [in Manchester] something good could happen.”

“As long as we had the energy to press high and make them uncomfortable, we did well,” he added in his post-match news conference. “We started badly, conceding a goal, but then the team started to play, winning the ball and looking for transitions. They scored two great goals, but we had the commitment to get back into the game.

“It was a game we could have won. We had the chance to make it 3-1. But we could have lost, too. We have the idea of playing the same game [in Manchester] with a lot of pressing, a lot of duels, and let’s see what happens.”

In last season’s Champions League semifinals, Madrid and City drew 1-1 in the first leg at the Bernabeu before City’s comfortable 4-0 second leg victory saw them go through to the final.

“Unlike last year’s game, the idea is to go toe-to-toe with them like we did today and see what happens,” Ancelotti said. “From our side, we’re satisfied with what we did and we hope to repeat that in Manchester.”

City coach Pep Guardiola criticised the state of the Bernabeu pitch, with construction work at the redeveloped stadium still ongoing.

“[The stadium] is impressive,” he told Movistar. “Now they just have to look after the grass. They have to improve that. [Madrid president] Florentino [Perez] only has to worry about having a good pitch, like Madrid have always had.”

“It’s what my players said,” Guardiola added, when asked about the comments in his news conference. “But people shouldn’t take it badly, the stadium is spectacular. When I played, Madrid had an incredible pitch, it was like a carpet, and now it’s not like that. But I’m sure they’ll fix it.”

Guardiola also said that goalscorer Foden, who was substituted in the 87th minute with an apparent injury, was not a serious concern.

“Phil was not involved in the game in the first half, we didn’t find him,” Guardiola said. “He wasn’t one of the best performers but he has this spark, this incredible talent to score goals.

“It’s a knock. He was grumpy with me when I made the substitution, so that means he’s OK.”