Both Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola made Champions League history in Wednesday’s thrilling Champions League semi-final decider – but the Manchester City boss will most likely not be amused at his new place in the record books.
Man City looked destined for the final going into injury time against Real Madrid, leading 5-3 on aggregate after Riyad Mahrez had widened their first-leg advantage in the Bernabeu.
Ancelotti and Madrid had other ideas, netting twice at the death through Rodrygo before this season’s hero Karim Benzema decided the tie in extra time from the penalty spot.
Ancelotti sets new competition best
On Saturday the Italian broke new ground in European football, winning La Liga with Madrid to complete the first-ever coaching clean sweep of the continent’s top five leagues.
Ancelotti also thrives in the Champions League, where he enjoys an almost unprecedented level of success.
Wednesday’s victory sealed his fifth appearance in the competition’s final, having taken AC Milan to that stage in 2003, 2005 and 2007 before leading Madrid to the decider in his first spell at the Bernabeu back in 2014.
No other coach has managed that number – but Liverpool might take some heart from the fact that they inflicted his only final defeat to date from his previous four visits, in the 2005 showpiece.
Ancelotti told BT Sport after the game: “I cannot say we are used to living this kind if life, but what happened tonight it happened against Chelsea and also against PSG. If you have to say why, it is the history of this club that helps us to keep going when it seems that we are gone.
“The game was close to finished and we managed to find the last energy we had. We played a good game against a strong rival. When we are able to equalise we had a psychological advantage in extra-time.
“I have no time to think about this [losing the game]. It was difficult as City had control of the game but the last opportunity we were able to go to extra-time.
“I am happy to be there in the final, in Paris against another great rival. We are used to it. It will be a fantastic game for football.”
More Champions League woe for Guardiola
Guardiola, meanwhile, despite being a two-time Champions League winner as a coach, has endured nothing but disappointment in the competition in recent years.
This marks his sixth semi-final elimination, a record he now shares with Jose Mourinho and not one he will wish to crow about.