Real Madrid’s 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Manchester City on Wednesday night in the Champions League semi-final second leg prompted an emotional backlash in the Spanish media, as attention turned to “pathetic, cowardly” coach Carlo Ancelotti.
City’s masterclass was “enough to make you cry,” according to AS, while Josep Pedrerol, presenter of LaSexta TV’s ‘Chiringuito’ show said: “Real lost because of Ancelotti’s pathetic and cowardly approach.”
There is real shock in the one-sided nature of the defeat and calls for a complete overhaul of the club’s staff.
The headline on the front page of sports paper Marca couldn’t be clearer: “A flattery, of the kind that hurts.” Marca said Real suffered a “90-minute nightmare” at the Etihad.
Rival sports paper AS carried a front-page photo of Karim Benzema with his face in his hands and El Pais’ chief sports writer José Sámano described the night in Manchester as “a earthquake for the Real.”
“What I cannot forgive is the impression that Real gave in the defeat,” said Tomás Roncero, Real Madrid’s chief correspondent for AS.
“Madrid were beaten 4-0 and you have to be thankful [Thibaut] Courtois is not through more.”
Guillem Balague, one of the most famous football journalists in Spain wrote on Twitter that: “Few teams in the history of the game have reached this level.”
Asked about his future at Real Madrid, Ancelotti said afterwards “there is no doubt” and club president Florentino Pérez signed his support for the coach.
But Predrag Mijatovic, who won LaLiga and the Champions League during his spell at the club, said: “I think we can clearly say a cycle has ended.”
Like many other pundits, Mijatovic suggested that Carlo Ancelotti’s time is up.
“Tonight it was shown that Real Madrid must think about the future, starting with the coach and the players,” he said.
The team is not good; the better the rival. Now we have to make plans for the summer and for the future. “
The former Montenegrin striker said Real needed replacement forwards and full-backs, but said Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, both second-half substitutes, should still play a role next season.
Guardiola: ‘The Treble is here now – we can think about it’
By James Ducker
Pep Guardiola has told his players to “visualize” winning the treble after hailing the biggest achievement of his seven-year reign as Manchester City manager.
City beat Real Madrid 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium to reach a second Champions League final in three years after the “pain” of last season’s painful defeat to the Spanish giants.
Inter Milan now stand between them and an elusive first European Cup in Istanbul on June 10, when Guardiola’s men will also become only the second English team in history to win the treble.
City will clinch a fifth Premier League title in six seasons if they beat Chelsea on Sunday – unless Arsenal first hand the trophy by losing to Nottingham Forest the day before – and also face Manchester United in the FA final Cup next month.
And Guardiola urged his players to seize the opportunity to become history makers.
“We are here now and the players can think about it, imagine it,” he said. “We only have three games left. One in each competition. We can do it.
“We have to win one more game in the Premier League, then we have our neighbors in the Cup and a Champions League final against an Italian side.
“The joy of being there and playing against Inter Milan is incalculable and we will be happy for the occasion.”
City’s stunning win over Real – which Guardiola described as the “highest” of his tenure at the club – came 12 months after a dramatic late semi-final collapse at the Bernabeu.
“We still have pain in our stomach from last year and we’re letting it all out now … we have energy after a lot of pain last year,” he said.
“It was very difficult and difficult last season when we played the same as now and I remember Toni Kroos gave an interview saying that they could have lost 10-1 or 10-2. [in the first leg] at Etihad.
“Kroos is one of the best players I’ve ever seen and coached and when he says that it means we’re there and it’s really hard to lose the way we lost. At that moment, we have to swallow the poison but football and sport always gives you another chance.
“When the draw was Madrid, I said ‘Yes, I want it’. I want it because I think now everything is there – the energy we have from a year of being criticized as players because of there was no attitude when we lost because it was football.
“Today is there and I am happy for the whole organization – for the chairman, the owner, the staff and especially for all the players because we accepted the defeat and now we are there. “One year later, we are in the final of the Champions League. Football and life always give you opportunities if you don’t give up.
Carlo Ancelotti, the Real coach, admitted that his team lost well but expressed no concern over his future as manager. “No one doubts me, the president was clear two weeks ago, there is no doubt about my stay,” he said.
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