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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Apr 2, 2014

Ancelotti plays down Ronaldo injury

ESPN FC’s Des Curran analyses the Champions League quarterfinal first leg in which Real Madrid defeated visitors Borussia Dortmund 3-0.

Carlo Ancelotti played down the seriousness of the injury that forced Cristiano Ronaldo off in Real Madrid's emphatic 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal.

Cristiano Ronaldo came off injured during Real Madrid's win over Dortmund.
Cristiano Ronaldo came off injured during Real Madrid's win over Dortmund.

The Portugal international was removed with 10 minutes to go moments after he had scored Real's third goal, which was his 14th in the competition this season, equalling the most ever scored in one campaign.

Other strikes from Gareth Bale and Isco put Real in a commanding position and Ancelotti raised the hope that the forward could be fit to play in the second leg next week.

"[Cristiano] Ronaldo had a knee problem but I took him off to avoid any risks," Ancelotti was quoted as saying by UEFA's official website. "He is not injured, just a minor annoyance."

Real could have put the tie completely to bed in a one-sided affair at the Bernabeu, but wasted a glut of chances. Ancelotti, though, declared himself happy with the performance.

"I'm satisfied with the score and the attitude of the team," he added. "It wasn't an easy game but we started well. Then we slowed down and Dortmund are a very dangerous team on the break.

"Now we have to play in Dortmund. They use dangerous and quick counterattacks but our defence was good tonight. We also pushed up to avoid their long passes.

"Isco played well, also defensively. He has a lot of quality. He is not used to playing in that position."

Dortmund boss Juergen Klopp was disappointed with the goals Dortmund conceded, and with the chances they squandered going in search of a vital away strike.

"We practically assisted two of their goals ourselves," he explained. "You can concede the first goal, that was a well-executed attack, but we made it too easy for their second and third goals.

"We didn't defend the way we wanted, we left too much room and weren't as compact as I would have liked. But we also have to understand that we played one of the best teams in the world today.

"We had a lot of chances to score and pushed forward until the final whistle. It definitely would have helped for the return leg. We've certainly been in better positions than being 3-0 down. A 2-0 victory in front of our home crowd is always a possibility, but that won't be enough now since we didn't score.

"We lacked the final touch in our attacks. We had a lot of counterattacks where we either missed the opportunity or the final ball was inaccurate. So if we are eliminated next week, it won't just be because of our defensive showing tonight.

"I'm not going to make any type of promises for the return leg, but we want to play attractive football and win the game if possible. And if we do manage to win, we will just have to wait and see by what margin. But I'm not going to stand here and say, 'We'll blow them away.'"

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