Carlo Ancelotti reveals Man City gameplan: ‘We aren’t planning how to play Haaland’


Real Madrid host Man City on Tuesday / Fran Santiago/Getty Images, James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

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Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has insisted he is not devising a gameplan to specifically stop Erling Haaland ahead of their Champions League semi-final with Manchester City.

The reigning champions of Europe will look to defend their crown in a repeat of last year’s dramatic semi-final which saw Man City throw away a two-goal lead in second-half stoppage time at the end of the second leg, before succumbing to a Karim Benzema penalty in extra-time.

Pep Guardiola’s side had been favourites to advance to last year’s final before their collapse, and they have arguably come back stronger this season with the addition of Haaland to their frontline. The Norwegian has scored a staggering 51 goals in 46 games across all competitions, smashing the Premier League record for goals in a single campaign with four games to spare.

Ancelotti was asked at his pre-match press conference if he had a plan in mind to keep Haaland quiet, but was dismissive of such suggestions.

“Haaland is a very dangerous player. He’s an obvious danger. But only talking about Haaland means not talking about a complete team that plays well, that attacks, that has ideas,” he replied.

“We aren’t planning how to play Haaland, but rather to play a team that looks unstoppable. I think we can have a chance to play an even, competitive game, and we can win.”

Regarding Man City’s slight change of style compared to last season, Ancelotti continued: “What I can say is they’re a more complete team.

“They might play a bit more direct. They use more long balls because they have a tall forward [Haaland] and they have [Kevin] De Bruyne behind him. In a lot of games they’ve taken advantage of that, playing a long ball and winning the second ball. But that doesn’t mean the team has changed its style.”

Erling Haaland’s Man City goal record

Haaland has taken England by storm in his first season on these shores, scoring goals at a ludicrous and almost unprecedented rate.

Should he fire Man City to the treble, it could be too hard to overlook him for the Ballon d’Or.



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