Karim Benzema explains his “mental confidence” after taking a Panenka penalty while Pep Guardiola says City will not hold back in the second leg.
A thrilling game, brimming with opportunities and individual moments of brilliance is a treat for those watching but leaving Man City, the better team, with a primary concern to protect. at the Santiago Bernabeu next Wednesday.
One of the key moments came when City’s Aymeric Laporte was blown away as the ball smashed his hand inside the box and Benzema hit the penalty with a cheeky ‘Panenka’ pass in the middle to lift the ball. score to 4-3 in the eighth minute.
It was a remarkable skill, one that made people nervous as Benzema missed two penalties in Real Madrid’s final game against Osasuna. Following his two goals in Manchester, Benzema has now scored a staggering 41 goals in his 41 appearances this season.
Benzema said: “I always had it in mind that if you don’t take a penalty, you’ll never miss a penalty. It’s mental confidence and that’s all. I very confident in myself…so I do it” and it turned out well. “
His coach Carlo Ancelotti said: “I think he changed because the last two penalties were not good. He tried in training, I don’t know how he will shoot. He chose this [Panenka] and he did very well, showing strong personality and bravery. In the Champions League semi-final first leg, it’s not easy to hit a penalty like this.”
Man City boss Pep Guardiola knows his side only need to avoid defeat to Spain to reach a second consecutive Champions League final but he will not change his attacking ethos.
He said: “It was a great game for both sides. We did a lot of good things. Unfortunately we conceded and we couldn’t score more.
“We played a great game against an incredible team. The moments where they got ahead and got back into the game in the first half, I think we gave them because our build-up was so good. Normally we’re very safe and very good. Also They’re going really well and strong. Worldwide and for Manchester City we’re very proud. But it’s getting to the final. ends and sometimes football happens.We go to Madrid to try to win the game.
“We left the Champions League against Tottenham at the hand of Llorente. Today it was the hand of Laporte. It happened. All we can do is show what we are presenting. The quality of Real Madrid is such that they can punish you.”
“What we did with the ball and when we didn’t have the ball, created chances and chances and chances, I can’t ask for anything else. I told the players to rest. Leeds is the important thing now. and we went to Madrid to win. Both teams want to attack and have the quality to play. Football is a great spectacle. Congratulations to Carlo and his team for they are so good. At the same time. , we see for ourselves that we can be there.”
Ancelotti: We reacted very well
Madrid have dug deep to beat Paris St Germain and Chelsea to reach the semi-finals, and the Bernabeu is set for another special night next week. Ancelotti’s side were at one point in danger of being blown away on Tuesday but somehow managed to escape a conspicuous goal.
Ancelotti speak BT Sport: “As a football supporter, it was a great game. As the coach of Real Madrid, I think I have to consider when we scored three goals and that’s it. It’s really important, but we didn’t defend very well.”
“We conceded two goals too early in the game and then we were able to react very well. We kept the game open until the end and of course now we have a big dream to be. play the second game at the Bernabeu and have a chance to go to the final.
“The first 20 minutes were really tough but after that, little by little we were able to get back into the game and keep the qualifying round open.
“We’re going to play against a really strong team. They showed great quality today but we played and we have to be more competitive in our stadium.”
What’s next for Man City and Real Madrid?
Manchester City continue their quest for the Premier League title with a trip to Leeds on Saturday night at 5.30pm, live on Sports sky. City lead Liverpool by one point, who visit Newcastle at lunchtime on Saturday.
Real Madrid can claim the La Liga title on Saturday with a home win over Espanyol. The second placed team, Barcelona, missed Real’s opportunity to take a 15-point lead after lost 0-1 at the Nou Camp to Rayo Vallecano last weekend.
To be rearranged: Wolf (a) Premier League
April 30 – Leeds (a) Premier Leaguelive on Sky Sports
May 4 – Real Madrid (a) Champions League SF second leg
May 8, year Newcastle (h) Premier League, live on Sky Sports
May 15, year West Ham (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports
May 22, year Aston Villa (h) Premier League
May 28, year Champions League Final *
* Can proceed