Carlo Ancelotti admitted on Tuesday that Real Madrid will have to play if they want to come from behind to beat Manchester City in the Champions League semi-finals (Thursday 05:00 AEST).
Madrid trail 4-3 after a thrilling first leg in Manchester last week as they look to make another comeback and reach the club’s first Champions League final since 2018 – where they beat the first confirmed finalists of this year at Liverpool 3-1.
“If we sit deep we won’t concede 99 shots and if we go into their box they will attack us but sometimes you have to take risks,” Ancelotti told a press conference ahead of the second leg.
“In those games we’ve scored a lot – three against PSG, five against Chelsea, three against City – so we have the quality to take risks.”
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Real Madrid showed resilience and battled to come back against both Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 and Chelsea in the quarter-finals, but Ancelotti said he would need more than character to defeat City.
“You don’t get to a final just with your heart,” Ancelotti said. “Personality is an important element but you need individual quality, collective commitment – you need all of that to reach a final, one of those things won’t be enough to reach the final.”
Luka Modric says the players are confident they can qualify as Real Madrid chase a 14th European Cup.
“We are very confident that we can come back because we know that in the first game we didn’t play our best game and we still scored three goals,” said Modric.
“We have the quality and the character and the history of this club, which has the most Champions League titles, also makes a big difference.”
Real Madrid celebrated their 35th La Liga title on Saturday as the players boarded an open-top bus to meet thousands of fans in the city’s Plaza Cibeles, despite the second leg against City only four days away.
“We really wanted to go to Cibeles because it had been a long time since we had been able to celebrate a title with our fans,” said Modric. “We enjoyed it but as soon as it was over we focused on tomorrow’s game.
“It was a beautiful day and that’s it, the season is not over.”
Ancelotti has confirmed that Real Madrid defender David Alaba will miss the game through injury and will be replaced by Nacho Fernandez. But Casemiro is fit again, giving Madrid a significant boost in midfield.
“Casemiro will help us,” Ancelotti said. “His return strengthens us defensively. I think we will see an improvement from the first leg.
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