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Bayern Munich v Real Madrid: Ancelotti lauds Kane, Gnabry, Musiala and ‘genius’ Tuchel in Champions League

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Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has called Bayern Munich counterpart Thomas Tuchel a “genius” and called on his players to thwart their opponents’ counter-attacks when the teams meet in Germany in the first leg of their Uefa Champions League semi-final on Tuesday.

Despite relinquishing their title to Bayer Leverkusen during a relatively poor season domestically, six-time European champions Bayern have fared better in Europe, showing their clinical side in a 2-2 draw at Arsenal before reaching the final four with a 1-0 win in the return leg.

“Thomas Tuchel is a great young coach, especially in terms of tactics,” said Ancelotti. “He’s a genius.

“His teams are always well trained and prepared. We have to defend and attack well and avoid counter-attacks.”

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Tuchel boldly predicted that Serge Gnabry, who netted at Arsenal, will score against the Spanish top-flight leaders.

Ancelotti coolly accepted that Gnabry and fellow forwards Harry Kane and Jamal Musiala have a higher chance of finding the net than most other players involved.

“The option for him to score is very high – it’s the same with Kane or Musiala,” pointed out the Italian.

“The probability that he scores is higher than, for example, a defender. They have a spectacular attack with different characteristics.”

Bayern v Madrid: Kane a threat

England captain Kane’s seven goals in the Champions League this season are only bettered by Paris St-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, who has eight.

The Bayern top scorer has two more goals and assists combined than any other player in the 2023/24 competition.

Madrid’s Rodrygo has five goals and two assists, while Jude Bellingham has four of each and Vinicius Junior has netted three times and set up four.

Four-time Champions League winner Ancelotti won the Bundesliga during his single season at Bayern in 2016/17.

“I don’t feel like taking revenge,” he said, calling his time at the club “beautiful”. “I was lucky to be coach here. I could have stayed longer but I have great memories.”

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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