‘We are NOT only thinking about Haaland!’: Carlo Ancelotti warns Real Madrid’s stars there is more to Man City than goal machine Erling… as he hails the talent of Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez ahead of semi-final second leg
- Erling Haaland is the man Real Madrid know they need to stop on Wednesday
- Manager Carlo Ancelotti is wary of focusing too much on one player, though
- Haaland was well shackled in the first leg – but he has 52 goals so far this season
Real Madrid cannot afford to solely plan for Erling Haaland or they will be torn apart by the rest of Pep Guardiola’s side, claims Carlo Ancelotti.
The Real Madrid boss was quizzed on his tactical plan to stop 52-goal scorer Haaland in Wednesday night’s decisive semi-final second leg.
But for the Italian, City are stacked with matchwinners and focusing only on Haaland spells bad news for his defenders.
‘We value a team, it’s everyone, not just one player,’ he said.
‘We don’t think only of Haaland… but [Kevin] De Bruyne? And [Ilkay] Gundogan? And [Riyad] Mahrez? It’s difficult.’
Carlo Ancelotti addressed the media ahead of Real Madrid’s semi-final second leg at Man City
Ancelotti said focusing solely on Erling Haaland (right) is a mistake, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne (left) among a host of City stars that can win the game on Wednesday night
Real Madrid did a number on Haaland in the first leg, so much so that he was savaged with a 3/10 grade by French newspaper L’Equipe in the aftermath.
But Haaland is having an historic season and he will be looking to exact some revenge for the first leg come Wednesday night.
Real are the defending champions in the Champions League but Ancelotti is not expecting experience to provide too much of a swing in a match between two sides so evenly matched.
‘Courage and personality will be very important, because the pressure will be very high,’ Ancelotti added.
‘They have to have the personality it takes to show off their quality. This aspect, if you don’t have control, your quality diminishes.
‘I want a team that reads the game well, that knows that there will be stretches of suffering, which is normal in a game like this. And then bite when the opponent is in difficulty.’
City are looking to continue their bid for a famous Treble and face the toughest assignment left in the run-in against Real, it feels like.
For Luka Modric, a five-time Champions League winner, there is a comfort he and his team-mates have that he is hoping City’s stars, yet to win this tournament, lack when the game gets tight.
‘It’s a huge game… and we feel comfortable in them,’ the former Ballon d’Or winner said.
Five-time Champions League winner Luka Modric (middle) is relaxed heading into the game
‘We like the Champions League, because it’s our tournament. The feeling is one of comfort in these matches and that’s why we’ve won so many times because the confidence in ourselves is enormous. We believe in our quality. We will give 100%.’
Asked if City are better this time around than last season, when they lost at this stage over two legs to Real, Modric added: ‘In the first leg, they were better. But we grew into the game and we got ahead. But they tied and it was 1-1.
‘We knew that this tie was not going to be decided in the first leg. And here we are.
‘We feel good for something that is 50-50 and it is going to be decided by small details. We must be focused and united.’
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