Carlo Ancelotti’s Madrid will look to be ruthless against rock-bottom Chelsea in second leg of Champions League quarter-final clash at London tonight
Chelsea players attend a training session at the Cobham training facility in London yesterday. Pic/AFP
Under a fortnight ago, Chelsea owner Todd Boehly picked up the phone and called Blues great Frank Lampard to return to the club and try to steady the ship. In another world, it might have been Carlo Ancelotti on the line to the American.
Instead Ancelotti returns to the Stamford Bridge dug-out on Tuesday strictly as an opponent, guiding Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final second leg clash. While they trail Barcelona in La Liga this season, Madrid are showing every sign that they could add a 15th European crown come the final in Istanbul on June 10.
Really easy first-leg win
Madrid carved out a 2-0 lead against the Blues in the first game with goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio, and they could easily have added more.
Despite not being first choice—or second, or third—for the job, Ancelotti was chosen as a safe pair of hands at Madrid and helped win the Spanish title last season. Like Zidane before him, is showing excellent man management is a vital skill for Los Blancos coaches—although not the only one, as he was at pains to point out.
“I am ‘fantastic’ at managing but there are other things, because this team is well-trained,” said Ancelotti before the first leg. “If we win the Copa del Rey, we will have won every title possible in two years and there are teams who won’t win that in their whole lives.”
Fringe players hungry
Ancelotti has kept squad players like Dani Ceballos, Nacho Fernandez and Asensio both hungry and helpful, with the latter netting again at Cadiz at the weekend. Most of them, anyway. Former Chelsea star Eden Hazard has remained a fringe presence and his former fans will hope not to see him on Tuesday.
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