Carlo Ancelotti has hailed the performance of Antonio Rudiger up against Erling Haaland in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday evening.
The German defender went toe-to-toe with Haaland on Tuesday evening, with the striker being bang in form heading into the game having scored 17 goals in his last 12 games in all competitions.
At the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg of Man City’s UEFA Champions League semi-final clash with Real Madrid however, the forward was kept eerily quiet by the Los Blancos’ defence. On the night, Haaland was restricted to just 21 touches of the ball – the least amount from any player on the pitch – and completed six less passes than his goalkeeper Ederson.
Speaking to BT Sport after the game, manager Ancelotti was quick to praise Rudiger for keeping the in-form Norweigen at bay:
“Defensively we were good. Rudiger against Haaland did well and the midfield had control. The performance was good and we are happy. We have strong motivation for the next game.”
Ancelotti also gave a general appraisal of the game, stating that he was happy with his side’s second half showing after a ‘difficult’ first half:
“An interesting game. Difficult for us in the first half and the second half was much better. We had good control in the game.
“When they had lots of possession we were in control defensively then when we started to play the ball we caused difficulties. We had to keep our positions defensively then when we got the opportunity, we scored the first goal. [It was] a great strike, a fantastic moment. The team played well. I am satisfied.”
Real Madrid face off against Getafe on Saturday before travelling to the Etihad Stadium for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final the following Wednesday.