Carlo Ancelotti defends Real Madrid's tactics in victory over Man City

  • Real Madrid managed just 33% possession in Wednesday's Champions League victory over Man City
  • Ancelotti's side needed penalties after conceding 33 shots across 120 minutes
  • Federico Valverde admits Man City played better football
Ancelotti secured another big victory
Ancelotti secured another big victory / James Baylis - AMA/GettyImages

Carlo Ancelotti insists Real Madrid had to play defensive football to have any hope of beating Manchester City on Wednesday.

Madrid needed penalties to dump Pep Guardiola's side out of the Champions League quarter-finals after 120 minutes of action which saw Madrid concede 67% possession and 33 shots on goal, mustering just eight efforts of their own.

In the face of some criticism of his tactics, Ancelotti insisted that was the only way Madrid would be able to stop City.

"We started well, got ahead and then started to defend, to suffer to qualify," Ancelotti said. "We thought of playing differently, but when we got ahead, we lowered the block too much, and City had more control. They always have that.

"Madrid has done this many times. It's this badge. We were convinced we would qualify. I really like it when a team sacrifices and fights. Here, you could only win this way.

"We took advantage of the opportunity we had. We tried to start the game strong, not like last year, to have more pressure. It turned out well for us because we scored early. And then the plan was to defend, to fight and to sacrifice. For me, it was the only way to get out of this tie alive."

Federico Valverde, Jack Grealish
Valverde admitted the battle was tough / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde even went one step further and admitted City were the better side on the night.

"Madrid is always there," Valverde told Movistar+. "Obviously, the opponent was better and played better football, but we are Real Madrid.

"We have shown our face, without playing in the best way, but fighting. We did the job that we planned until the goal, but mentally, you get behind it and it's f****d up.

"In addition to physically tiring you, your head kills you from running after the ball, but you have to know how to suffer, work and take pride. These moments are needed."