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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Shocked Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti reacts to Champions League thrashing by Manchester City

Los Blancos bow out of the competition at the semi-final stage after suffering a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Pep Guardiola’s City.

Update:
Los Blancos bow out of the competition at the semi-final stage after suffering a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Pep Guardiola’s City.
PAUL ELLISAFP

The Champions League has been ‘their’ competition over the last decade or so but Real Madrid won’t be adding to their list of recent triumphs after a heavy defeat at the hands of Manchester City in the second leg of this year’s semi-final. The tie was evenly poised after a 1-1 draw at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu but Pep Guardiola’s side flew out of the traps at the City of Manchester Stadium and took Madrid apart in the first half, with the 2-0 half-time scoreline very much flattering Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

The Italian spoke to Spanish broadcaster Movistar in the immediate aftermath of the game and was at a loss to explain how his team of stars were so badly beaten.

Bernardo Silva’s first-half double was added to after half time by Manuel Akanji and Julián Álvarez, with Madrid ultimately losing 4-0 in Manchester.

Ancelotti: “We’ll be better in next year’s Champions League”

How do you explain such a heavy defeat?

They played better and deserved to win. They put a lot of pressure on us from the beginning, and it worked well for them because it made it difficult for us to play out from the back, and they took the lead. From then on, it was difficult to get back into the game. We tried in the second half... but it didn’t work out.

What was missing? Carvajal mentioned that you backed down too early on.

Assessing the game now doesn’t make sense. It’s a painful defeat, it really hurts. But it can happen. You play against strong opponents in the Champions League semi-finals, they play better than you and you’re out. That’s it. But we’ll learn from it and be better for next season’s Champions League.”

What did you say to Guardiola after the match?

I congratulated him because his team played better than us. Last year, we were able to beat them... and this year it was their turn. That’s what happens in sport. Sometimes you can lose.”

What did you say to Vinicius after they went 1-0 ahead? He seemed angry.

I don’t know, I don’t remember.

See also:

Ancelotti: “There’s no need to make a drama out of it”

A short time later, Ancelotti took part in his official post-match press conference, expanding on a number of the issues that were discussed in the earlier flash interview.

How do you assess the defeat?

I think it’s just part of football. We played against opponents that deserved to win. They took the lead and built on it from there to reach the final. Today, they were better than us, just as we were better than them last year.

Do you feel as if people are questioning you?

No one has doubts. I think the president was quite clear about that a couple of weeks ago. No one has doubts.

What do Madrid have to do different in this type of match in the future?

Obviously, the game plan needs to change. We didn’t do what was planned. There’s no need to make a drama out of it. This squad performed very well last year and this year. We weren’t able to reach another final. This squad has done well, and they will do even better next season.

Does the defeat hurt because of the players’ attitude or the quality of the opponent?

Attitude? Why talk about attitude? No one can think that we had a bad attitude. This defeat is just a step towards trying to be better next year.

How do you assess the season?

It has been a good season. We still have to play our remaining matches, but it’s been a good season. I think reaching the Champions League semi-finals is a success because only four teams make it. Sometimes you can lose a semi-final.

Assement of Manchester City

Today, they deserved the victory because they were better than us. They deserved to reach the final.

What does this squad need to come out on top against them in the future?

This squad defeated City in a semi-final last year. This year, they were better than us. We are focused on the next Champions League, just as we have been on this one.

Has the president said anything to you?

I’m not going to tell you here what the president has told me in private.