Carlo Ancelotti orchestrated Real Madrid’s famous comeback win in the Champions League on Tuesday as they inflicted Liverpool’s worst European defeat at Anfield
Carlo Ancelotti reveals he made a big bet against Liverpool… which has finally paid off!
The Real Madrid boss has decided to surprise the Reds with a tactic inspired by the Champions League final against the Reds last May, leaving the cautious style to emphasize an all-out attack.
It paid off spectacularly in the end, with five goals unanswered in 46 minutes either side of the first half, but not before Liverpool went two goals up. And the Italian boss said: “What was I thinking then? I remember the Manchester City game in the semi-final and we improved in that game.
“I hope the same thing will happen and we have done better than that. Overcome the initial pressure period and stay calm. It all worked out in the end.
“We bet on scoring here – we want to be strong up front with a front line that gives us chances to score. We changed tactics from the final, where we played with a low block.
“We expected the game to be open and we chose a team for open play. It worked. But I have to say that Liverpool are a dangerous opponent, and a fantastic team who made us suffer with fantastic intensity.”
While his side now have the advantage in the game, Ancelotti has warned his squad not to get complacent ahead of the second leg in Madrid. Instead, he warned that Liverpool would fight at the Bernabeu.
“Winning at Anfield is not easy and doing it convincingly is even more difficult. We are very happy about that. The team showed they are improving and they are at a good level in February after a tough January,” Ancelotti added.
“The season doesn’t stop and we have to be at our best. We are happy and we believe we can do well. We benefited from the first 90 minutes and now we have to manage the second 90 minutes.” Madrid well.
“Liverpool are a very competitive team and unfortunately the games are not over. Liverpool are a great team because they play at a high tempo and are difficult to come by in Europe. It will be difficult for us.”
While Ancelotti praised Liverpool, their former defender Jamie Carragher blasted his old club’s defense… and singled out Virgil van Dijk for some vicious comments.
“Virgil van Dijk said I would not get back four months ago. I think I will take his place this time, ”he said.
“It was a shambles from Liverpool. Shame. We’ve been making excuses for them all season, but it was a shame in the second half. Losing the half is 3-0 when you attack the Kop 2-2 and in a knockout game. Shambolic.”