Real Madrid may have lost to Juventus 2-1 in the Champions League semifinals today, but the defending champions of Europe are still in a decent position to advance.
[ RECAP: Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid ]
With Cristiano Ronaldo getting a crucial away goal at Juventus Stadium, Real can reach a second-straight final with just a 1-0 win in the second leg in Madrid.
Real boss Carlo Ancelotti, who managed Juventus from 1999-2001, acknowledged his side did not play up to their potential, but is still confident they can overcome the deficit at the Bernabeu.
It is true that we could have played a better game. We were not always effective, but we tried to be in control.
Then we had a bit of bad luck because we could have made it 2-1 [through Rodriguez], but the 2-1 [defeat] leaves us happy because we have confidence that we can overcome [the score in the second leg].
We lacked patience and also some clarity between the lines. That is why we struggled a bit early in the game.”
In the quarterfinals, Real headed home for the second leg and handled business, defeating Atletico Madrid 1-0 to advance to the final four of the competition.
If Ancelotti and his men wish to repeat their successes from last round, they may need to make some changes for the return leg. Sergio Ramos started in the midfield for the injured Luka Modric and looked lost today, while Marcelo was left exposed at outside back.
Isco and James Rodriguez worked well together in front of Ramos, but the poor form of Gareth Bale and absence of Karim Benzema left Ronaldo stranded up top. Ancelotti will have to find an answer to get in behind Juve’s compact defense, while also stopping the counter-attack from the likes of Tevez and Vidal.