Real Madrid must focus on putting in a complete performance instead of going all out in their search for a goal as they look to overturn a one-goal deficit against Barcelona in their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg, manager Carlo Ancelotti said.
Real center back Eder Militao scored an own goal in the first half of last month’s first leg, before Barcelona defended superbly to frustrate Ancelotti’s side and secure a 1-0 win.
“It’s always the most important game for me, for Real Madrid and for the fans. There is a very big rivalry,” Ancelotti told reporters on Tuesday, ahead of the game at Camp Nou.
“This match allows us to play another final and it is the most important objective. It is an important competition and we are close. We will do everything we can to play in a final.
“The idea is not to go crazy to score a goal. The idea is to play a complete game with and without the ball. We haven’t got there many times and that’s an important aspect. We’re not going to go crazy, because you can score a goal in the fifth minute and then concede two.”
Barcelona have beaten Real three times in 2023, including wins in the first leg of the tie, a league clash last month and the Spanish Super Cup final in January.
When asked if he could field a different lineup or formation to outfox the Catalan club, Ancelotti said, “it’s difficult to change the system after working on the same system all year”.
“Small details are where you can surprise your opponent. In general, a change in the system will only surprise you,” the Italian added.
Ancelotti added that defender Antonio Rudiger, who missed Real’s 6-0 win over Real Valladolid on Sunday, was back in training and available for the midweek clash.
‘MADRID SEEKING REVENGE’
Despite Barcelona’s advantage heading into the second leg, coach Xavi Hernandez warned his side to be cautious of a “hurt” Madrid side.
“I think they’ll be set on getting revenge because they’ve lost the last three games against us,” Xavi told a news conference.
“We might try something different to surprise them. I don’t think they will. They have a very clear idea about their game and they do it very well … I certainly wouldn’t say we have the measure against then.
“They have every chance of winning and are very good at games like this where they need to mount a comeback. I still think they’re the favorites. They are very hard to beat over two legs.” — Reuters