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Vidal: Atletico will sit back and defend
Editorial

Vidal: Atletico will sit back and defend

Bayern Munich could not clinch the Bundesliga title after drawing this weekend, but the players are now thinking entirely about their upcoming Champions League match against Atletico Madrid, a match in which they think Los Rojiblancos will defend their 1-0 lead.

Bayern midfielder Arturo Vidal did not feature this weekend and will be fresh to face Atletico, something that could be crucial if Diego Simeone's men play as defensively as Bayern expect.

"They will all sit back and defend, I don't see them going after us and trying to score, only off of counterattacks," said the Chilean midfielder.

"Bayern have a great character and we are hoping to advance with the help of our stadium and fans.

"We will show the Bayern spirit and we will give our best."

There was some controversy about the Vicente Calderon pitch, with some Bayern players complaining after the match.

"It will be tough, they know how to defend and do their job, but we are confident about executing our chances playing at home with a good pitch.

"In Madrid it was dry and long, that's the truth," added Vidal.

Pellegrini: We will try to press up front and score

Manuel Pellegrini's game plan for Wednesday's match between his Manchester City team and Real Madrid is clear: they will try to score.

The former Villarreal, Real and Malaga coach has always been known for his offensive style of football and he will do that exact same thing in the return leg of the semi-finals.

"We will not travel to the Santiago Bernabeu trying to defend and with the goal of keeping a clean sheet, we will try to press upfront, attack and then score a goal," said Pellegrini.

"I expect a more offensive Madrid side this time around, but it's a good time to break the stats," he added, noting Madrid's record of clean sheets at home in this edition of the Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo missed the first leg and Madrid's last La Liga match against Real Sociedad, but the Portuguese attacker has recovered in time for the game.

"He's a crucial player, he's made the difference over the last couple of years and it's a pity that when I was coaching Madrid he picked up the biggest injury since he joined the club," said Pellegrini.

The scoreless draw between Los Blancos and Manchester City in the first leg ended with the Chilean saying that he did not expect Madrid to play that defensively.

"Maybe they played that first game trying not to lose it, and they had their reasons to do that, it's normal.

"We lacked creativity but our attitude was very good at all times and we will try the exact same thing on Wednesday."

Fans and analysts said after the match that the quality of the play wasn't good enough.

"Speaking as a fan, I would be disappointed as well, because we tried but couldn't get it done," Pellegrini continued.

"Madrid didn't even try until the last 20 minutes or so with some set pieces, and never in open play."

The coach spent a year with Real and got sacked because the team didn't win a single trophy, but Pellegrini doesn't regret that year he spent in the Spanish capital.

"It's clear that you have to accept the politics surrounding such a big club like Real Madrid, but I know that the players liked my coaching methods and no matter whether we lost or won the previous game, we kept that method and that way of working in every training session," he said.

He went on to explain that he knew about his departure from Madrid months before everyone else.

"I knew it since the previous August, because Florentino Perez told Villarreal president Francisco Roig and he told me," he adds.

Pellegrini will leave City at the end of the campaign with current Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola taking over next season.

"Coaching in England is something nobody should miss, the fans' support is always great and the way the competitions are structured is very professional for the fans and the players."

Leicester City have almost clinched the Premier League title but Pellegrini doesn't think that it's a lesson to the bigger clubs.

"They've done a phenomenal job this season but I don't think it's a lesson for the rest of the clubs because I don't believe they will be competing for next seven or eight titles, you achieve that through money," said Pellegrini.

In closing the interview the coach, who has had the fortune of working with many football superstars, noted that former Villarreal midfielder Marcos Senna is his favourite.

"He is the perfect example of what a football player should be in terms of work, personality and quality.

"But it would be unfair to name one of them and leave players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Raul, Joaquin, Demichelis or Xabi Alonso out."

Ronaldo fine to face City, Benzema doubtful

Real Madrid continue to prepare for the semi-final second leg against Manchester City with Cristiano Ronaldo having won his race to be fit and Karim Benzema doing everything possible to join him, but unlikely to make it.

Ronaldo managed to complete training with the group, and at the same level as the rest of his teammates, meaning that the Portuguese will line up for the game at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

More doubtful is the inclusion of Benzema.

The French attacker trained alone on grass, which is an improvement, but there is less and less time left until the match and his recovery is going slowly.

Casemiro trained in the gym but will join the group on Tuesday.



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