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MADRID, Spain, April 11Carlo Ancelotti said on Monday that Real Madrid would not underestimate Chelsea in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final and dismissed Thomas Tuchel’s suggestion that the encounter was over.

Following Madrid’s 3-1 victory over the defending champions at Stamford Bridge last week, a furious Tuchel replied ‘no, not yet’ when asked if the tie was still alive, although the ‘German was more optimistic on Monday.

But Ancelotti insisted Madrid would take nothing for granted at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday against his former club as they bid to finish the job and reach the semi-finals.

“Chelsea are here to bring us the fight. It will be difficult for them, of course, but they will try. Good teams never give up,” Ancelotti told a press conference.

Chelsea delivered the perfect answer last weekend beating Southampton 6-0 in the Premier League and could be encouraged by Barcelona beating Madrid 4-0 just three weeks ago.

“I know my players very well,” Ancelotti said. “They are well aware of what happened a few weeks ago (against Barca) and what it will take tomorrow. We won’t underestimate anyone. It’s a great opportunity to reach the semis. finals but Chelsea are a very good team. We have to respect them.”

“It’s the only way to prepare for this game, thinking Chelsea will be better tomorrow and he’ll be ready. There’s no other way. We’re ready. We know we’ll have to suffer and we are ready to suffer,” Ancelotti added.

Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro said he thought they delivered their “best 90 minutes of our season” against Chelsea in the first leg. “But we can’t afford to be overconfident,” he added.

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Ancelotti’s future at Real Madrid was thrown into doubt after the Clasico humiliation, but three straight wins since, including the win over Chelsea, have eased the pressure. Real Madrid are 12 points clear at the top of La Liga.

When asked if he still plans to be a coach next season, Ancelotti replied: “I hope so. I have a relatively long contract (until 2024) but that’s not what to do. what I’m thinking right now. If the club is happy with me, great. If not, I’ll be grateful for the opportunity I had to lead Real Madrid again.”

– “Modern striker” –

Karim Benzema scored a hat-trick against Chelsea last week as the Frenchman now has 42 goals in 42 games this season.

His scintillating form stands in stark contrast to Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku, who cost the club €115m last summer but fell out of favor under Tuchel.

“Karim must be a modern striker,” Ancelotti said. “Before, attackers would hang around the box and just kick the ball when they could. Now they have to do more.

“Modern strikers don’t just score tap-ins. They must defend. They have to fight. In my opinion, Karim is the model of a modern striker.

When asked if Madrid were relying too much on Benzema, Ancelotti replied: “I have nothing to hide. We are counting on him and I’m happy about that.

Casemiro said Benzema is a ‘historic player at the club’ and ‘perhaps the most important player we have right now’.

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Casemiro also came to the defense of Gareth Bale, who was whistled by some of the Real Madrid fans on Saturday as he came off the bench against Getafe to make his first appearance at the Santiago Bernabeu since February 2020.

“We are all affected when a player is whistled,” Casemiro said. “I heard Bale being whistled the other day and I didn’t like it. He’s a historic player and when you whistle him, you whistle the history of this club.