Champions League: Ancelotti makes case for defense as Real Madrid prepare for Man City
Madrid, May 3 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti hopes that his side can tighten up in defense when it faces Manchester City in the return leg of the Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night.
Real Madrid go into the game with a 4-3 deficit and knowing that if City had been as ruthless in taking their chances as Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr were in Manchester last week, the tie would probably be out of sight by now.
However, boosted by assuring the 35th La Liga title of the club's history, Ancelotti was looking forward to the game in his pre-game press conference.
"We are motivated and focused," he commented, adding his players had "a challenge tomorrow, an opportunity to play in a Champions League final. There is a great atmosphere."
"We are aware of the difficulty of tomorrow's game, but the tie is open, despite that small disadvantage and it's time to fix it," he said.
The Italian highlighted the difference between Real Madrid's counterattacking style and their rivals' fluid passing game, but stressed that in front of a packed Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, "personality plays an important part because it allows you to show all of the quality that you have."
"You don't just win with your heart, you win with everything, adding quality, collective commitment," he insisted.
Ancelotti also welcomed the return of holding midfielder Casemiro, after the Brazilian missed the first leg through injury, reports Xinhua.
"His return without doubt helps to reinforce our defensive aspect and that is something we have to work on. We have to be tighter and more compact in defense and move better. It's something we've worked on and I think we're going to see an improvement," he said.
Although Ancelotti admitted that central defender David Alaba was almost certain to miss that game through injury, the Austrian has been included in the squad for Wednesday's game.