Real Madrid are not taking their three-goal advantage over Liverpool for granted in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at home, coach Carlo Ancelotti told a news conference on Tuesday.
Bidding for a record-extending 15th Champions League title, the Spanish and European champions came from behind to complete a 5-2 rout at Anfield last month.
But Ancelotti said that his players will not forget that they had to fight back from two goals down to earn their win and that Liverpool are well capable of springing a dramatic Champions League upset at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.
“On a psychological level, I think the game is more complicated for us than for Liverpool,” Ancelotti told a news conference.
“Liverpool will have to go all the way to get the best from the first minute, no matter what. The result of the first leg, in this aspect, puts us a little in doubt. We will try to go all in out there from the first minute, but we have more questions and responsibility than our rival.”
Also fresh in Ancelotti’s mind is last season’s quarter final against Chelsea, when Real won the first leg 3-1 in London but fell behind 3-0 at home, having to fight back to secure a 3-2 result that ensured their place in the semi-finals.
“The Chelsea game is very much alive in our minds,” Ancelotti said. “It will help us to play a different game (on Wednesday)... We are not going to play a closed game, but play our best offensive football. The players understand that. That’s why I think it will be an open game.
“We have to do both things well: defend and attack, but we’re thinking more about attacking.”
Defender Antonio Ruediger, who was a Chelsea player last season, agreed with his manager about the attitude the team needs to take.
“We have to approach the game better than we did in Anfield, we can’t afford to fall asleep, we saw what happened,” Ruediger said. “For me it’s an honour to be here and to play with teammates of the level of (Karim) Benzema and (Luka) Modric.”
True Liverpool need to do something magical to reverse the 5-2 loss. It definitely won’t be easy — no away team has ever erased a three-goal loss from the first leg in the Champions League. Only five times the team that lost at home rallied in the second leg, with Manchester United the only one to overcome a two-goal deficit in a round-of-16 matchup against Paris Saint-Germain in 2019.
Eintracht Frankfurt will be without their top strikers and their travelling fans but coach Oliver Glasner is confident his team can still overturn their 2-0 first-leg deficit in their tie against Napoli.
“We are here to overturn this 2-0,” Glasner told a news conference on Tuesday. “That’s our goal. We want to score at least twice and will give it all to get into the last eight.”
⚫ Real Madrid vs Liverpool
⚫ Napoli vs Eintracht Live on Sony Sports Network from 1.30am IST on Thursday
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