Ancelotti: Aim is to score, not defend
Carlo Ancelotti insists Real Madrid will be putting the emphasis firmly on attack when they visit Bayern Munich for the second leg of their Champions League semifinal on Tuesday.
Madrid hold a 1-0 advantage from the first leg at the Bernabeu, but Ancelotti said his intention is to extend that lead and that he would field a side featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale if the trio are fit.
Speaking to the media after the 4-0 victory over Osasuna in La Liga, Ancelotti said on the club’s official website: “I'm sure that I am going to pick an XI with a lot of desire and illusion. Everyone needs to be calm as we are going to prepare well. I have a lot of confidence in the players and they all need to have it.
“The objective is to score and not defend. This is the line we're going to work along. If Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale are all right, they will play in Munich.”
Ancelotti said Ronaldo, who scored twice against Osasuna, had shown signs of recovering his best form after making his comeback from injury against Bayern.
“Everything went well for Cristiano and for all of the players,” Ancelotti said. “There were no problems and some have had a rest. The match was good, not high intensity, and Cristiano showed he is fine. He played with more security and confidence than on Wednesday.”
On the other two members of his attacking trio, Ancelotti added: “Benzema is improving and there will be no problems for Tuesday. [On Sunday] he will train without problems and will be fine. Bale had the flu on Wednesday and was weak and we preferred that he did individual training [on Saturday morning] and now he's better.”
Bayern, meanwhile, rediscovered their goal-scoring touch with a 5-2 win over Werder Bremen, but coach Pep Guardiola was far from happy with his team’s first-half performance.
“It is the first time since I have been coach here that I am disappointed with my players,” Guardiola said. “It's no problem when they play well or they play badly, but the problem was we weren't the team we have been all season.
“The fans don't deserve a performance like this. I'm sorry for them.”
With Bayern having already wrapped up the Bundesliga title, Thomas Mueller said he had not been concerned with the Bremen performance and was focused solely on helping the club to reach a fourth Champions League final in five years.
“I really don't care about it in the slightest,” he told Sky. “All that matters for us is Tuesday and we're going to need the support of everybody then -- everybody around the club, even the media and the press. We're all Germans.
“If we don't make it on Tuesday, then you can tear us to shreds, but we need support before.”
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.