Carlo Ancelotti has his sights firmly set on the Champions League semi-finals after the 2-0 home win with defending champions Real Madrid against Chelsea. “We played a full game here.
And we have to do that again in London to reach the semi-finals,” said the Real Madrid football coach after his side’s largely confident performance in the first leg of the quarter-finals. “We started with the aim of gaining an advantage for the second leg , and we did it.”
Goalscorer Karim Benzema with his 90th goal in the Champions League (21st minute) and Marco Asensio (74th) scored for the royals against mostly too passive Londoners, even if Ancelotti said: “Chelsea are a very good team, and in sometimes we had to suffer.”
In fact, the guests coached by Frank Lampard had the first and last chance of the game, but Real dominated in between. “We played very well and kept pushing like we did at this stage last season. It was one of our best performances this season,” said winger Vinícius Júnior.
Ancelotti also liked his team’s powerful game. “We tried very hard to win the ball back and press it,” said the 63-year-old coach, “I’m happy with our performance and I wish we could have more of it at Stamford Bridge.” The second leg will take place in London next Tuesday – then without Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell, who saw the red card in the 59th minute for an emergency brake.
Vinícius Júnior emphasized that the hunger for the 15th title in the premier class in Madrid is great. “Any player who wears this shirt for Madrid knows how special the Champions League is. Especially at the Bernabéu with this fanbase behind us. They are passionate about this competition,” said the 22-year-old. “When you play for Madrid you have to be driven by the hunger to play and win the Champions League.”
At Real, coach Ancelotti included Toni Kroos in the starting XI, while German international Antonio Rüdiger came on after 71 minutes. DFB teammate Kai Havertz was initially only on the bench at Chelsea, he entered the pitch in the 65th minute.