London, April 27: Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said he was “a little frustrated” with the way his team played in the first half of the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg against Manchester City at the Etihad, losing 3 -4 in an exciting match on Tuesday night.
He told the Real Madrid fans to be ready for the second leg at the Bernabéu in eight days, asking them to demand better performance from the players at home.
Pep Guardiola’s City will take a slim one-goal lead in the second leg of the semi-final, buoyed by the fact that they led by two goals on three separate occasions, but on each occasion Real Madrid refused. to give in on an exciting night.
“I’m a little frustrated because we were second in a lot of our singles matches in the first half and they (City) scored two goals that we could have avoided if we had been vigilant. We managed to produce a reaction and keep the game alive going into the second leg. “It’s a defeat that keeps us in the tie ahead of the second match at the Bernabéu. We have to improve defensively because we have quality up front to pose problems for them in the second leg,” Ancelotti said post-match.
“I have the feeling that we started the game very badly. We were too soft and ended up conceding two goals. The team then showed their ability to react. We competed and were in the game until the end. We have to improve defensively. We did well in possession and We created scoring opportunities. It will be very important that we improve defensively in the second leg. I have a very experienced team that stays calm when things get tough. I’ve played many games like this and I never give up and always keep my head in the ball. high,” the manager opined at realmarid.com.
The Italian admitted that City had a one-goal lead in the second leg and that the fans could make the difference in the game by egging on the team at the Bernabéu.
“City has the advantage and we have to take that into account. I hope that our fans demand a better performance from us to reach the final. Our fans have to be ready for the second leg because we are going to fight for it to be another magical night” , said.
He also praised Karim Benzema, who scored two goals (minutes 33 and 82) to keep City’s lead within permitted limits.
“Karim (Benzema) played very well, as always. He showed great character to take the penalty and he scored it spectacularly. I was surprised that he took it like that. (Luka) Modric also played a great game, but I took it.” “I removed him because I thought a fresher player could give us more in the last ten minutes. Modric was spectacular and I brought in Ceballos, who also showed a lot of character,” Ancelotti added.