IMAGE: Real Madrid players at a training session on Tuesday. Photograph: Real Madrid/Twitter
Real Madrid will not be complacent against Liverpool in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at home despite their three goal advantage from the first leg, 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 win 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 soccer. 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.
“When you play against Real Madrid you feel something different in the atmosphere of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
“For me it’s an honour to be here and to play with team mates of the level of (Karim) Benzema and (Luka) Modric. We will play our best to advance.”