Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has hit back at pundits and others hailing English football as superior after Los Blancos knocked Chelsea out of the Champions League. The Italian manager praised Spanish football and gave examples of Villarreal and potentially Atletico Madrid in the competition this season.
While Real Madrid knocked out Chelsea in the quarter-finals, Villarreal knocked out Bayern Munich in what was a major upset. Atletico play Manchester City in Madrid on Wednesday with the Premier League side holding a slim 1-0 advantage.
Los Blancos won 3-1 against the Blues in the first leg at Stamford Bridge last week in their draw. However, the west London side scored three goals at the Santiago Bernabeu to make it 4-3 on aggregate. Rodrygo then scored to make it 4-4 and extend the game. Karim Benzema scored Madrid’s second goal which turned out to be the winner on aggregate.
After the match, Ancelotti told Canale 5 (via Football Italia):
“This club never gives up. For this reason, we received a big prize like the semi-finals. The environment helped us. Our first goal was a blow for them. Real Madrid are used to play semi-finals, but we are proud to have achieved this goal because everyone said that English football was superior to Spanish football.”
“In the end, Spain have two teams in the semi-finals. It’s not a personal revenge, I’m happy for Villarreal and Unai Emery, a great team and a great coach. Tomorrow there is another candidate for the semi-finals, Atletico Madrid.
Chelsea change focus to FA Cup as Real Madrid double hopes still alive
Chelsea have already won the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup this season. After their elimination from the Champions League, however, their hopes for more silverware this season lie in the FA Cup. They will face Crystal Palace in the semi-final on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
Los Blancos, meanwhile, have won the Supercopa de Espana this season. They also lead the La Liga table with 12 points ahead of second-placed Barcelona, who are one game behind. Ancelotti’s men travel to third-placed Sevilla on Sunday in their next game.
In the Champions League, they will face the winner of Manchester City against Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals.