Carlo Ancelotti Labels Manchester City “unstoppable” Ahead of Champions League Semi Final

Carlo Ancelotti Labels Manchester City “unstoppable” Ahead of Champions League Semi Final
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti during a press conference at the Ciudad Real Madrid Training Centre, Madrid. Picture date: Monday May 8, 2023. - Photo by Icon sport

Carlo Ancelotti has heaped praise on Manchester City ahead of tomorrow’s crunch match between Real Madrid and the Blues at the Bernabeu. The match is the first leg of the Champions League semi-final, with the two sides meeting at this stage of the competition for the second consecutive season.

Last year, Ancelotti’s men sprung a last-minute rescue job, scoring twice in stoppage time in the second leg to take the game to extra time where a Karim Benzema saw them overcome the English side. This time around, the task will be even harder for Los Blancos with City now having a certain Erling Haaland in their ranks.

The Norweigan has been prolific all season and recently broke a long-standing Premier League goalscoring record. The 22-year-old isn’t one to shirk under the pressure of a big game and Real Madrid will have to be at their very best to stop him from adding to his goal tally.

Speaking about Haaland in his pre-match press conference, the Real Madrid boss said:

“Obviously Haaland is a very dangerous player. He’s showing impressive qualities, above all with goalscoring. But just talking about Haaland means not talking about a complete team that plays good football, defends well, attacks, that has ideas.

We’re not setting up for a game to stop Haaland but to stop a team that seems unstoppable. But, I think we can have chances to have an equal game and one that we can win.”

Ancelotti aware of City’s evolution

Ancelotti’s praise for Manchester City didn’t stop with Haaland. The 63-year-old spoke about how Pep Guardiola’s side has evolved since the two teams last met this time last year. He said:

“They are a more complete team than last year. They had a very good forward in Gabriel Jesus, but he has different characteristics to Haaland. Today, they can take advantage more of long balls, because they have a very tall striker, and behind him is De Bruyne, so they can win balls in the air.

They have not changed their style. They are very well organised at the back and a team that handles the ball very well.”

A team of stars at his disposal

While Ancelotti has been full of compliments for tomorrow night’s opponents in the press, he will undoubtedly have hatched a plan to stop them with his team behind closed doors. Real Madrid have plenty of stars of their own, particularly in midfield.

There had been doubts about the availability of Luka Modric, who has been nursing a hamstring injury in recent weeks, however, Ancelotti confirmed that the Croatian will be able to play “without a problem”.

He will likely be joined by Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde in midfield with their other midfield sensation, Eduardo Camavinga, set to start at left back once again due to a number of injuries at the back.

Up front, Ancelotti will be hoping that Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema can turn it on again in a big European fixture while Rodrygo, the man who downed Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, will join the duo in a formidable front three.

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