Tuesday, May 28News That Matters

How Real Madrid ‘used Arsenal tactic’ to help eliminate Man City from Champions League

Real Madrid’s technical team drew inspiration from Arsenal’s tactics to secure their victory over Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Following an evenly matched 3-3 first-leg encounter at Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid showcased a formidable defensive effort in the second leg at Etihad Stadium.

The match concluded in a 1-1 draw after extra time, and Real Madrid triumphed in the penalty shootout, advancing to a semi-final clash with Bayern Munich.

In contrast, Arsenal exited the European competition after a narrow 1-0 loss to Bayern at the Allianz Arena.

In the lead-up to their decisive match against City, Madrid’s coaching staff looked to Arsenal’s approach for strategic guidance to counteract Pep Guardiola’s squad.

As reported by Marca, Davide Ancelotti, the assistant coach of Madrid and son of Carlo Ancelotti, took on the task of analyzing City’s play and devising strategic countermeasures for Madrid’s visit to Etihad.

Davide Ancelotti reportedly took cues from Arsenal’s stalemate with City on March 31, applying similar defensive strategies to Madrid’s players—Federico Valverde, Dani Carvajal, Vinicius Junior, Nacho, Ferland Mendy, and Jude Bellingham—mirroring the defensive roles executed by Arsenal at the same venue the previous month.

Asked if he was surprised by Real Madrid’s defensive approach, Guardiola said after the match: ‘I don’t judge.

‘We’ve found that type of opponent in the past. Some teams are more open, some play a lower block. They know it’s a difficult ground to come to and they’ve tried. We really pushed them, particularly in the second half.

‘We were on the edge of the box and had lots of shots from outside the area, but we weren’t able to achieve it. We did everything we could but in the end Madrid go through and we don’t.’

However, City midfielder Rodri was more scathing of Madrid’s tactics at the Etihad.

‘To be honest, I’ve only seen one team today,’ Rodri said. ‘We know how tough beating Madrid is, but in my opinion we should have gone through. In the end this is football.

‘We knew the game was going to be long for them, but we didn’t expect that they were going to be so, so far deep [in their half].

‘It is difficult to analyse. We had the feeling that penalties were more convenient for them. It was their turn [to progress] again.

‘In the penalties, luck was on Madrid’s side, as usual. Real Madrid have these things, they can win a game in which they barely left their own box.

‘We know what we do and we know that this competition does not understand merits, it understands who puts the ball in the back of the net.

‘Their only shot on target they had went in, and we were trailing for most of the game. We have had chances and if we had been more clinical, we would have won the game.

‘In the end this is football. When you have given everything you have no regrets. Now it’s time to lift the boys up and congratulate Real Madrid.’

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