Champions League

Di Matteo plays down Madrid 'crisis' talk

2015-03-10 10:46
Roberto Di Matteo (Supplied)
Roberto Di Matteo (Supplied)

Madrid - Schalke coach Roberto di Matteo believes his side must score first at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday if they are to have any chance of overturning a 2-0 first leg deficit against Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Madrid destroyed Schalke 9-2 on aggregate on their way to winning the Champions League for a 10th time last season, but have stumbled recently in La Liga.

Carlo Ancelotti's men were beaten for a fourth time in 14 games in 2015 at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday to surrender top spot in La Liga to Barcelona for the first time in five months.

"We have to score the first goal and if we open the scoring then the match could be interesting for us," said the Italian, who won the Champions League when in charge of Chelsea in 2012.

Madrid's star front three of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale have particularly come in for criticism as the goals have dried up for Los Blancos in recent weeks.

However, Di Matteo dismissed suggestions Schalke were meeting Madrid at the right time to cause an upset.

"I don't believe Real Madrid are in a crisis. I hope the media is right that the strikers are not in good form. We will need a little bit of luck as well tomorrow night to get a positive result.

"The game on Saturday was different. It was an away game in Bilbao, who are a very strong team, and they didn't allow Real Madrid to get into their flow.

"Tomorrow they play in front of their home fans and I think it will be different.

"I think three weeks ago they were talking about a crisis as well with the Real Madrid team. I don't expect a team in crisis tomorrow."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur, Allianz Stadium 21:45
Basel v Manchester City, St. Jakob-Park 21:45
Wednesday, 14 February 2018
Porto v Liverpool, Estadio Do Dragao 21:45
Real Madrid v PSG, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tuesday, 20 February 2018
Bayern Munchen v Besiktas, Allianz-Arena 21:45
Chelsea v Barcelona, Stamford Bridge 21:45
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Sevilla v Manchester United, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:45
Tuesday, 06 March 2018
Liverpool v Porto, Anfield 21:45
PSG v Real Madrid, Parc des Princes 21:45
Wednesday, 07 March 2018
Manchester City v Basel, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Juventus, Wembley Stadium 21:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which English Premier League club will progress furthest in this season's Champions League?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.