Carlo Ancelotti has admitted Real Madrid need to 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 blew a two-goal lead three times as Ancelotti’s men gave themselves a fighting chance at the Bernabeu in the week next. Karim Benzema netted a brilliant brace either side of Vinicius Jr’s solo goal in a high-quality game between the Premier League and La Liga leaders.
After the match, Ancelotti was full of praise for City but said Real’s defense fell short of what he expected.
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He told BT Sport: “As a football fan it was a fantastic game, but as Madrid manager… we scored three important goals but we 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 big dream to play the second game at the Bernabeu. We hope to have the chance to go final.
“This team, these players are capable of not losing their heads when things are not going well. We did the same, the first 20 minutes were really difficult. After that, very slowly, we got back into the game and we kept open qualification.
Asked if Real would need ‘magic’ at the Bernabeu next week to reach the final, Ancelotti said: “We need it because we’re going to face a very strong team, they’ve shown fantastic quality. today. We competed but we need to compete more in our stadium.”
Meanwhile, Karim Benzema, echoed his manager’s calls for magic at Madrid, telling Movistar: “We’re going to say that we lacked a bit of everything in this game – a bit of ambition, of pressure, confidence.
“A defeat is never good because we are really excited about the Champions League. The most important thing is that we never lay down our arms, we are all here until the end. Now we have to go to the Bernabéu and we will need our fans like never before and we will do something magical, which is to win.”