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Ancelotti Confident Madrid Will Stay Strong in Man City Return

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said he is confident his team can shine against Manchester City next week to progress in the Champions League, after a thrilling 3-3 quarter-final first leg draw Tuesday.

Last season record 14-time winners Madrid tied 1-1 with Pep Guardiola’s City at home in the semi-final first leg but were hammered 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

City, who went on to win the competition for the first time, twice took the lead against Madrid but Los Blancos battled back to leave the game finely poised.

“We had the grit to get back into the game, now we have a small disadvantage because we play away from home, but with the confidence that we can repeat this performance,” Ancelotti told reporters.

Ancelotti said his players lacked courage and personality last season in Manchester but the coach insisted this year would be different.

“Today we gave our best selves — we have the confidence of repeating the same in the second leg,” said the coach, who managed a record 200th game in the competition in the draw at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“The truth is the idea was to take a small lead, maybe a 4-3, it wouldn’t change a lot of what I’d plan for the second leg,” he continued.

“We started in a very bad way with a goal against us but the team managed the situation very well.”

Bernardo Silva sent City ahead with a free-kick but a Ruben Dias own goal and Rodrygo’s strike helped Madrid go ahead.

Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol scored two screamers for City but Fede Valverde rescued Madrid a draw with a searing volley.

Guardiola said his team showed maturity to “control the game” in the second half, after seeing Madrid evaporate their initial lead.

“In the first one, two, three seasons together we would have lost (the game) 4-1, 5-1, we were not stable emotionally,” the former Barcelona coach explained.

“Being stable emotionally is fundamental … in the good moments and the bad moments.”

Guardiola said having home advantage in the second leg could give his team the equivalent of a one-goal boost.

“In Manchester it will be sold out, our fans will help us score one goal, and we will try to do the rest,” added Guardiola.

“It’s simple, the team who wins will be in the semi-final.”

AFP

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