Real Madrid were hurt by their worst performance of the season in their 1-0 loss to Paris St Germain in their Champions League last 16 first leg and will try to play smart in the return leg on Wednesday, coach Carlo Ancelotti said.
The La Liga leaders were sunk by a stoppage time goal from Kylian Mbappe in their meeting last month but are no strangers to pulling out extraordinary performances in the Champions League, having won the competition a record 13 times.
“We are a very proud team and that performance hurt us pretty bad,” Ancelotti told a news conference on Tuesday.
“We are a proud team, mainly in a competition like the Champions League. So we will play for pride. We saw the best version of PSG in Paris. I wish to see the best version of Real Madrid on Wednesday.”
Ancelotti’s side will be buoyed by their 4-1 win over La Liga contenders Real Sociedad on Saturday, having initially been pegged back by an early goal.
“Our team is calm and motivated. The mental aspect is crucial in a moment like this. If we play with Saturday’s intensity, we have a good chance to qualify,” the Italian said.
“We have to be smart and play smart. We need to go out there and win. We don’t need to score many goals. We need to keep it together and the support of our fans will be major for us.”
PSG forward Mbappe, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid next summer as a free agent, is a doubt for the match after he was hurt in training on Monday. But Ancelotti said his potential absence would not affect Real’s preparation.
“We will prepare for the game as if Mbappe would play. That’s the only way we can do it,” Ancelotti said.
“It would not surprise me if Mbappe gets a great reception by our fans. They always received great players with respect. But our fans want us to win. That’s what they care about the most.”