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Real Madrid were drawn to face Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-finals and Carlo Ancelotti will hope that his previous warning is still ringing in the ears of his squad
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti ironically sent a Chelsea -based warning to his squad ahead of the two sides being drawn together in the Champions League once more.
The Spanish side booked their place in the last-eight of the competition earlier this week with an aggregate victory over Liverpool. Los Blancos eased to a 5-2 win during the first-leg at Anfield, with Karim Benzema then scoring the decisive strike at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ahead of the second-leg in Madrid, Italian schemer Ancelotti had warned his side that the tie was not totally over. He pointed to their experience against Chelsea last term as reason to be cautious – the Blues losing 3-1 at Stamford Bridge before then roaring back at Stamford Bridge to lead the tie.
Real overcame that scare by netting two late goals and progressed. They eventually went on to win the competition.
“We have had the experience of last year against Chelsea,” Ancelotti said before the Spanish side’s second leg against Liverpool. “We had a three-goal advantage, that is why we are and were favourites, but the other fact is that we have to play another 90 minutes.
“To do that, we have to play with the same attitude as the first leg. We have the advantage, but we can’t think of managing the game and the result that we had, we have to play 90 minutes at the top.”
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Ancelotti will certainly be hoping to avoid a similar panic this time around with his side set to play Chelsea in the Champions League for the third season in succession. The Londoners sealed their place in the last-eight after staging a second-leg comeback against German giants Borussia Dortmund.
Blues boss Graham Potter issued his thoughts on a clash with Real Madrid immediately after the draw. He said: “The feeling is excitement. I’ve said we will try to win the Champions League and that’s the same for the other seven clubs in the draw I’m sure.”
However, the former Brighton schemer called for calm and instead suggested he was putting his energy into this weekend’s Premier League game. He added: “We will focus on Real Madrid when we get there but at the moment our thoughts are on tomorrow and Everton. I’d rather focus on Everton because the other stuff is a long way away.”
Ahead of his assessment on the draw, Potter had already left supporters open-mouthed with an expletive-laden comment regarding his side’s European hopes. Speaking at an event on Thursday, he said that his side would “try to win the f****** Champions League”.
Should Chelsea find a route beyond Real, they already know their potential semi-final opponents following Friday’s draw. The Blues will take on either Bayern Munich or fellow Premier League side Manchester City in the last four.