Carlo Ancelotti warns his Real Madrid side that Chelsea will see their Champions League tie as a ‘great opportunity’ to turn their season around, as Eder Militao insists his team want to ‘suffer less’ at Stamford Bridge
- Real Madrid head to Stamford Bridge with a 2-0 lead from the first leg last week
- Chelsea have had an awful season but could save it with an unlikely victory
- Ancelotti said his side are ready for the test and are ‘not thinking that it’s easy’
Carlo Ancelotti warned that Chelsea will see their Champions League quarter-final second-leg meeting against his Real Madrid side as a ‘great opportunity’ to turn a disappointing season around.
European champions Real lead 2-0 from last week’s first leg at the Bernabeu after a dominant display against Frank Lampard’s side, who played the final 30 minutes with 10 men and were outclassed.
Victory would see Ancelotti’s team move a step closer to retaining the trophy they won for the 14th time last season, when they knocked out the Blues in the last-eight after a thrilling tie that saw Chelsea fight back from two goals down and still lose.
Fortunes have altered dramatically for the west London club in the 12 months since.
They are currently 11th in the Premier League having been eliminated early from both domestic cup competitions, with hopes of returning to the Champions League next season resting on winning the competition in June.
Carlo Ancelotti has warned his Real Madrid side that Chelsea could use their Champions League tie to turn their season around
Real Madrid lead the quarter-final tie 2-0 after winning the first leg at the Bernabeu last week
Chelsea have lost all three games under Frank Lampard since he returned to the club as manager
First they will need to give Stamford Bridge another memorable European night if they are to overturn the first-leg deficit and eliminate the holders.
‘Chelsea has a difficult moment,’ said Ancelotti, who won a league and FA Cup double as Blues manager in 2010.
‘I’m thinking the game tomorrow can be a great opportunity for them to move from this situation. We’re aware of this, we take it into consideration. We will try to play at our best.
‘We’re good. We’re motivated as always. These are all important games. We have to have a very complete game. Ninety minutes remain and in this type of competition anything can happen. We’ll be ready to play at our best.
‘We’re not thinking that it’s easy. That’s the opposite of what we think. I know this competition well. I know what can happen in football.
Madrid were dominant against a struggling Blues side in Spain but must defend their lead
Madrid defender Eder Militao has admitted his side want to ‘struggle less’ in the second leg
‘Last year, we thought (the quarter-final second leg against Chelsea) would be the most difficult game, and we had the advantage (Real won 3-1 at Stamford Bridge in the first leg). Then what happened, happened. We want to struggle less tomorrow.’
Real defender Eder Militao echoed his manager’s sentiment that the team will need to be at their best to ensure Chelsea are not offered a way back into the tie after last week’s one-sided meeting in Madrid.
‘Of course they had some good chances,’ said Militao. ‘Thibaut (Courtois) made good saves. They have great players.
‘We know we can’t miss tomorrow. Who makes the least mistakes will end up winning so we’ve got to turn up with the same attitude we had in the first leg. Don’t overthink it.’
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