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Ancelotti: “It’s a defeat with which we stay alive for the second leg”

The Italian discussed the 4-3 defeat in Manchester.

Manchester City v Real Madrid Semi Final Leg One - UEFA Champions League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Real Madrid are still alive in their semi-final tie against Manchester City. That was Carlo Ancelotti’s main takeaway, as he discussed the 4-3 Manchester City win with the media after Tuesday night’s first leg.

Analysing the first leg and tie as a whole, he said: “When you lose a match it’s never good, but I think it’s very different to the PSG first leg. We fought and competed in this one. I feel that we started very poorly and softly, conceding two goals, which was quite frustrating as we lost a lot of individual duels. With some more focus, we could have avoided that. But, after that, we showed what we have done in recent times, a great reaction. We competed. We did well with the ball. Of course, for the second leg, we need to defend better and this is very important. It’s a defeat, but a defeat with which we stay alive. The second leg is quite clear. If we defend better we’ll win. If not, we’ll be out. We’ll fight to have another magical night.”

Ancelotti on Benzema’s penalty

Benzema had two penalties saved last midweek, but scored a Panenka here. Asked about the Frenchman’s goal from the spot, Ancelotti said: “Benzema had a great game, like always. He showed character to score that penalty. We never thought about changing the penalty takers. I didn’t know if he’d shoot to the right or left. The way he shot did surprise me a little.”

Ancelotti on the Modrić for Ceballos substitution

Given the season he has had, taking off Luka Modrić is always going to raise some eyebrows. So, Ancelotti was asked about his decision to replace the Croatian with Dani Ceballos. On that, he said: “No, I didn’t take Modrić off because he was playing poorly. Modrić had a good game, but sometimes putting a fresher player for 10 or 15 minutes makes more sense.”

Ancelotti on Real Madrid’s injuries

With David Alaba coming off again, Real Madrid have a fresh injury concern over the Austrian. Asked about the injuries in the squad, the coach said: “Casemiro will be in the second leg for sure, but Alaba we’ll have to re-evaluate. To avoid further problems we took him off. But, I think both will be available for the second leg.”