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FootballCarlo Ancelotti: 'No favourite' ahead of Man City-Real Madrid tie

Carlo Ancelotti: ‘No favourite’ ahead of Man City-Real Madrid tie

Carlo Ancelotti cannot pick a favourite ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League quarter-final tie against Manchester City and is relishing the challenge of attempting to eliminate the holders.

Fourteen-time European champions Madrid were paired with City in Friday’s quarter-final draw, having clung on for a nervy 2-1 aggregate win over RB Leipzig in the round of 16 last week.

Los Blancos overcame City in dramatic circumstances in the 2021-22 semi-finals, with Rodrygo scoring a stoppage-time double to send the second leg to extra time, before a Karim Benzema penalty sealed a 6-5 aggregate win for the Spanish giants.

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However, City got their revenge at the same stage last campaign, thrashing Madrid 5-1 on aggregate en route to winning the treble.

While most onlookers saw City as the team to avoid ahead of Friday’s draw, Ancelotti is embracing the challenge of facing the reigning champions.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s clash with Osasuna in LaLiga, Ancelotti said: “I think the idea is to win the competition and if you want to win it, you have to beat the best.

“It could be that City are the best team, but if we want to win the Champions League we have to beat City.

“Everyone has their opinion. For me it is very even and there is no favourite.”

Madrid were trounced 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium in the second leg of last season’s semi-final tie, with Bernardo Silva scoring twice as Pep Guardiola’s men produced a mesmerising display.

Ancelotti, however, is not viewing next month’s tie as an opportunity for revenge, saying: “There is no revenge.

“It is an opportunity to reach the semi-finals. Nothing more. They are a difficult opponent but in the quarter-finals, that will always happen.

“The second leg was not a good game for many reasons and now we will have time to think about this. We are focused on tomorrow’s game. The draw is just a small detail for us.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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