Real Madrid stars stranded at Manchester Airport
MANCHESTER. — Real Madrid were left outside Manchester Airport for over half-an-hour as their pre-Champions League semi-final second-leg preparations took an unexpected hit.
Los Blancos flew in from Madrid yesterday morning ahead of their clash with Manchester City tonight, after drawing 1-1 in a tense first-leg affair last week. Vinicius Jr’s first-half strike was cancelled out by a moment of brilliance from Kevin De Bruyne to leave the tie on a knife-edge.
However, upon arrival to the north-west, Real’s stars were left stunned when their bus failed to arrive on time. Carlo Ancelotti’s men were waiting outside Terminal 2 for around 40 minutes, before the bus finally got there to take them to their hotel, the Hyatt Regency, to continue their build-up to the match.
Ancelotti did not look impressed as he stood outside the terminal doors waiting for his bus to get to the airport to pick up his players. Luka Modric seemed to share the same view, while Vinicius saw the funny side as Real get ready to face City in Manchester for the second successive season.
The last time Real were at the Etihad Stadium was when the two teams played each-other in last season’s semi-final first-leg. On that day, Pep Guardiola’s side ran out 4-3 winners thanks to goals from Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Kevin de Bruyne, with Karim Benzema striking twice and Vinicius scoring for Madrid.
Fast forward 12 months and the sides are set to face off in the second-leg in Manchester and Ancelotti believes Real are confident of beating City today. The former Everton manager spoke to the press following his side’s 1-0 win over Getafe on the weekend.
“I have a clear idea of Wednesday’s team today, I have no doubts at all. We’re feeling confident. I have a strong bench with players that can contribute in this type of game,’ the Italian said.
“Last year the players who came off the bench helped us win the Champions League.”
He added: “You always play with fire in this job. What can I do? I’ve named a competitive and fresh squad so that no one complains that we’re giving an advantage to an opponent who’s fighting relegation. Those who were tired didn’t play. It’s a good sign that we go into Wednesday with the full squad available.”
Meanwhile, Guardiola spoke about his team’s chances against Real and admitted it is a “dream” for City to play at this stage of the competition for the third successive season.
He said: “We want it. Losing against Chelsea, Madrid, of course we want it. This is what we want. People say we are close, I think we are far away. But it is a dream come true to play here again. There are no guarantees that we will be here again, so let’s go for it and play with our people.”