Carlo Ancelotti lauded Antonio Rudiger for his superb effort against Erling Haaland in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League match.
Haaland, who had been in outstanding form with 17 goals in his last 12 games in all competitions, was up against the German defense.
Haaland was unexpectedly restrained by the Los Blancos’ defense during the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal between Real Madrid and Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Only 21 touches were managed by the striker during the entire game, which was the fewest touches of any player on the field. In addition, Haaland completed six fewer passes than Ederson, his own goalie.
Ancelotti, speaking to BT Sport following the match, wasted no time in acknowledging Rudiger’s remarkable effort in shutting down the prolific Norwegian forward.
“Defensively we were good. Rudiger against Haaland did well and the midfield had control. The performance was good and we are happy. We have strong motivation for the next game.”
Ancelotti also gave a general appraisal of the game, stating that he was happy with his side’s second-half showing after a ‘difficult’ first half:
“An interesting game. Difficult for us in the first half and the second half was much better. We had good control in the game.
“When they had lots of possession we were in control defensively then when we started to play the ball we caused difficulties. We had to keep our positions defensively then when we got the opportunity, we scored the first goal. [It was] a great strike, a fantastic moment. The team played well. I am satisfied.”
Real Madrid face-off against Getafe on Saturday before travelling to the Etihad Stadium for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final the following Wednesday.