Haaland’s direct play has edged the City manager away from pitfalls of purism – but will it be enough against Real Madrid?
It is a little over nine years since Pep Guardiola first took on Carlo Ancelotti as a manager. Guardiola’s Bayern Munich had sealed the Bundesliga title almost a month earlier, often registering 1,000 passes in a game, and his football seemed unstoppable. For 18 minutes in the first leg at the Bernabéu, Bayern continued to seem imperious. Then Ancelotti’s Real Madrid countered and Fábio Coentrão squared for Karim Benzema to score. Bayern continued to dominate the ball; Madrid continued to look dangerous. It finished 1-0.
In retrospect, before Guardiola and Ancelotti meet in another semi‑final at the Bernabéu on Tuesday, that game seems a defining moment. What had happened in the semi-finals against Internazionale in 2010 and Chelsea in 2012, a Guardiola team bossing possession and being caught on the counter, had happened again – and this time without the same sense of outrageous bad luck.
Written by Jonathan Wilson
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2023/may/06/carlo-ancelotti-is-the-great-pragmatist-standing-in-pep-guardiolas-path-again under the title “Carlo Ancelotti is the great pragmatist standing in Pep Guardiola’s path again | Jonathan Wilson”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.