Carlo Ancelotti has revealed Real Madrid will line up in a 4-3-3 formation against Liverpool in the Champions League final in Paris.
The Italian offered insight into his tactics ahead of the European showpiece on May 28 in the wake of his side’s thumping 6-0 La Liga win over Levante on Thursday night. A Vinicius Junior hat-trick following goals from Ferland Mendy, Karim Benzema and Rodrygo saw Los Blancos continue their stunning season, which could end with the Spanish giants completing a remarkable La Liga and Champions League double.
However, in order to clinch a record-extending 14th European crown, Real Madrid must first overcome Liverpool. Ancelotti’s latest admission indicates the newly-crowned La Liga champions will be hoping to do so by lining up against the Reds in a 4-3-3 formation.
When probed on what system Real Madrid will opt for in Paris in just over two weeks’ time, the 63-year-old revealed his preferred formation, however insisted his side’s flexibility means the system is likely to change depending on whether Los Blancos are in possession and how the game is going. In response to his intended system against Liverpool, as per AS, Ancelotti confessed: “4-3-3.
“Sometimes it can happen to a 4-4-2. I think there is no defined system, sometimes to press the pivot, as we did against the City, you go from 4-3-3 to 4-4-1-1. The idea doesn’t change much, just a little the way to defend the opponent, to pressure him.”
Despite tinkering with various different formations this season, the majority of Real Madrid’s matches have seen Ancelotti deploy his players in a 4-3-3 system. In doing so again in Paris, Los Blancos are likely to come up against a Liverpool side opting for the same formation.
Real Madrid will also head into the European final full of confidence. Having clinched a record-extending 35th La Liga title in recent weeks, Ancelotti’s side have shown no sign of taking their foot of the gas.
After Los Blancos put six past lowly Levante, which condemned the Valencia-based outfit to the Segunda Division, Ancelotti admitted his side are showing “very good signals’ when asked whether any of his team’s have ever finished a season so well. The Italian said: “We arrive well and our self-esteem has grown a lot.
“We have this challenge of playing the final after winning the league, we know that there is a lack of time and that we have to have intensity. The team gave very good signals. We work very well in the field.”
Real Madrid secured their place in Paris with a two-legged win over Manchester City last week after the most remarkable run to the final. A stunning Benzema hat-trick saw Los Blancos complete an astonishing 3-2 comeback triumph over Paris Saint-Germain in the Round of 16 to set up a quarter-final tie with Chelsea.
Benzema then repeated the feat in the first leg at Stamford Bridge as Ancelotti’s side returned to the Spanish capital with a 3-1 advantage. The 13-time European champions looked to have capitulated as a Blues’ fight-back in the Santiago Bernabeu saw Thomas Tuchel’s side race into a three-goal lead.
However, Rodrygo’s late volley levelled the tie on aggregate, before Benzema headed home an extra-time winner to send the Spanish giants through in yet more extraordinary circumstances. And the drama wasn’t finished there.
Manchester City edged a seven-goal thriller against Real Madrid at the Etihad before Riyad Mahrez’s strike with 15 minutes remaining in the Santiago Bernabeu looked to have secured City’s spot in the Paris. However, two stoppage-time goals from substitute Rodrygo sensationally sent the match to extra-time, where Benzema once again emerged as the match-winner, decisively netting from he spot.
Should Ancelotti guide Real Madrid to a 14th European title, the Italian would become the first manager in history to claim the honour on four occasions. A Champions League triumph would cap a remarkable season for Ancelotti personally, who became the first manager in history to win league titles in all five of Europe’s major leagues upon claiming the La Liga title this season.
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