MADRID, Spain, Mar 14 – Real Madrid will go on the attack against Liverpool this week instead of trying to protect their Champions League last 16 first leg advantage, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Tuesday.
Holders Madrid thrashed Liverpool 5-2 at Anfield in February, with Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior scoring twice, along with an Eder Militao header, after the hosts had moved two goals ahead.
Despite their three-goal cushion, Ancelotti said his team had to focus on winning against the visitors on Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu to reach the quarter-finals.
“It’s quite simple, we don’t have to make calculations, instead try to play the best that we can, try to play a game like we did in the first leg,” Ancelotti told reporters.
“Our ideal is not in making calculations, we have to play at maximum intensity, with maximum hope, trying to win the game.”
The Italian coach believes the clash will be an open game, as Liverpool need to mount a huge comeback, while his team will not sit back and defend.
“We’ve looked at what we did in the first leg, we did a lot of things well, above all in attack,” Ancelotti said.
“We’ll not play a game thinking about our advantage, we will play our football, attacking football.
“Tomorrow will be an open game, Liverpool will try and change the dynamic of the tie, so we have to do two things well — defending and attacking.”
Madrid striker Benzema missed the win over Espanyol on Saturday in La Liga with an ankle problem but is fit again.
“Yes, tomorrow he’s at 100 percent, he trained on Sunday, he’s done good sessions, he’s at his best, motivated — for Karim and for the club it’s a very important competition,” said Ancelotti.
Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger said the team had to defend better than at Anfield, when Liverpool struck two early goals through Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah.
“Not sleeping in the first 15 mins, I think this is very important, as well as finding the right balance,” Rudiger told reporters.
“This is very important for us, not only to come and defend and say ‘OK, we have a three-goal lead’ we also have to please our fans and gain confidence for ourselves.”