UCL: Carlo Ancelotti Gives Brutally Honest Answer on Real Madrid’s Defensive Tactics vs Man City

UCL: Carlo Ancelotti Gives Brutally Honest Answer on Real Madrid’s Defensive Tactics vs Man City

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
April 18, 2024 at 7:24 AM
  • Carlo Ancelotti has explained why Real Madrid sat deep against Man City
  • The Spanish side adopted a defensive approach to prevail over the Citizens
  • Ancelotti's strategy faced a lot of criticism, especially from City star, Rodri

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Carlo Ancelotti has provided a frank explanation for Real Madrid's decision to adopt an ultra-defensive strategy in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash against Manchester City.

Los Blancos ended Man City's bid to retain the Champions League title by prevailing in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in the second leg after Rodrygo opened the scoring for Madrid, with Kevin De Bruyne's goal forcing extra time.

Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Champions League, defensive, survive, alive, quarter-final.
Carlo Ancelotti gestures towards Man City manager Pep Guardiola during their Champions League quarter-final meeting. Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista.
Source: Getty Images

Ancelotti's defence prevails over Guardiola's attack

The Spanish side demonstrated resolute defending as Pep Guardiola's men applied relentless pressure, with close attempts from Erling Haaland and De Bruyne and a missed opportunity from Bernardo Silva.

Despite the criticism levelled at Ancelotti's side for their defensive tactics, the victory secured their progression to the semi-finals for the fourth consecutive season.

Putting their triumph into context, the 14-time European champions have eliminated the reigning UCL winners on six occasions in knockout ties, a feat unmatched by any other team in the competition's history, according to Opta Statistics.

Ancelotti explains ultra-defensive strategy vs City

In response to the critique of their approach, the 64-year-old manager candidly explained that it was the most effective strategy to secure a result at the Etihad Stadium, considering City had not suffered a defeat at home since a 2-1 loss to Lyon in the 2018/19 season.

“We took advantage of the opportunity we had. We tried to start the game strong, not like last year, to have more pressure. It worked out well for us because we scored early," he said as quoted by Managing Madrid.

The serial winner believes that this approach was necessary for Real Madrid to advance in the competition, emphasising the significance of their collective effort and determination.

"And then we defended, fought, and sacrificed. For me, it was the only way to get out of this tie alive.”

Rodri slams Madrid's defensive approach

Sports Brief also reported that Manchester City midfielder Rodri voiced his discontent with Real Madrid's defensive approach during the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash on Wednesday.

Despite City's dominance and continuous attacking efforts, the defending champions held their ground, ultimately winning in the post-match penalty shootouts.

Rodri emphasised his belief that the Premier League side was the superior team, expressing frustration with Real Madrid's defensive tactics.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.