Pep Guardiola will attempt to finally stop the trend of always losing to Carlo Ancelotti in the Champions League semi-finals when he leads his Manchester City side to the Santiago Bernabéu at 8 PM WAT on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.
Recall that last season, Carlo Ancelotti led Real Madrid to knock out PSG in the round of 16, knocked out Chelsea in the quarter-finals, and then ended Pep Guardiola’s dream of winning a first Champions League title for Manchester City in the semi-finals. Real Madrid went on to beat Liverpool in the Champions League final to win the title.
Unfortunately or fortunately, Real Madrid are journeying through a similar path as they have had to knock out Liverpool in the round of 16, then Chelsea in the quarter-finals, and now Manchester City in the semis again.
But this time around, the music might be different as Pep Guardiola would do all he can to stop the tactical reign of Ancelotti over him. The Spanish coach has never knocked out the Italian in the semi-finals despite the number of times they have met at that stage of the competition.
The first time they met at the semi-finals was in 2014 when Ancelotti led Real Madrid to disgrace Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich in Germany and knocked out the Bundesliga giants from the competition with ease.
The good news for Pep Guardiola is that he now has a goalscoring machine in Erling Haaland who could be the difference between the star-studded Manchester City and Real Madrid. Haaland has scored 51 goals in all competitions so far this season, currently the highest goalscorer in the Premier League and in the Champions League which means that he would be Ancelotti’s biggest headache going into the match.
On the other hand, Ancelotti has a couple of dangerous men led by the usual suspects Karim Benzema and the Brazilian wizard Vinicius Junior. However, the tactical maneuver of the two managers could be the major factor that will determine the winner on aggregate after the two-legged affairs.
After the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals at the Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday, May 9, Real Madrid will return the favor at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, May 17. The winner of the round will face either AC Milan or Inter Milan in the finals on June 10.
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