Carlo Ancelotti conceded his Real Madrid team failed to stick to his game plan in Tuesday’s defeat by Manchester City.
The Los Blancos manager was looking for his team to defend first at the Etihad, but his back four failed to turn up in the UEFA Champions League, with his strikers ensuring Madrid are still in this tie.
Ancelotti was asked if he planned to go at Man City and create an open game, but he admitted this wasn’t something he encouraged his players to do.
“Not really, no [the plan wasn’t to attack Gung-Ho],” Ancelotti said after the match. “The plan was to defend better. We started really badly and conceded two goals really early.
“But then we were able to react and we reacted really well. We stayed in the game and we are staying in this round. We have a home game and our supporters could help us.”
On the game itself, Ancelotti added: “It was easy to read this game, for sure. We have to defend better. [Pep] Guardiola can say the same. The strikers had a better game than the defenders.”
Man City must now travel to Spain for the second leg of the semi-final, where Madrid will definitely be favourites to beat their rivals. But Ancelotti is keen to keep the pressure on Guardiola’s side.
He added: “Manchester City has the advantage, they have one more goal. But I think at the Bernabeu everything is open.”
Kevin de Bruyne opened the scoring for City in just the second minute on Tuesday with a header from close range. Gabriel Jesus soon doubled the home side’s advantage on 11 minutes, and they looked to be running away with the contest.
But Karim Benzema halved the deficit ahead of halftime. Phil Foden restored Man City’s two-goal lead after the break but Real Madrid again pegged them back just two minutes later through Vinicius Jr.
Bernardo Silva scored City’s final goal of the night, as Guardiola’s side looked to finally assert control over the tie. But a Real penalty saw Benzema net a Panenka to keep Madrid in this tie.