Karanka delighted with Real Madrid response

28 April 2013 04:32

Real Madrid assistant manager Aitor Karanka believes his side can take heart from their 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid as they try to overturn a 4-1 deficit from the first-leg of their Champions League semi-final against Borussia Dortmund.

Real made eight changes from the side that started in Germany for the derby clash at the Vicente Calderon on Saturday, but still managed to emerge victorious thanks to Juanfran's own goal and a fine second-half strike from Angel Di Maria.

"It gives us extra motivation for the manner in which it was achieved," he told a press conference.

"This team fought with humility and a lot of intensity.

"Looking forward to Tuesday it is very good. As a team the work done was spectacular."

In a game low on quality throughout, Real managed to quell the hosts' service to Radamel Falcao after the Colombian had given Atleti a third minute lead and Karanka was delighted with how the squad responded after their thrashing in Dortmund on Wednesday.

"We knew it would be a game with a lot of tension. It was a derby and Atleti haven't won one for a long time so we let that be known to the players. Moreover, second place was in play. It wasn't easy.

"There weren't many chances. They concentrated on crossed balls which we knew would be their danger. What we are left with is that after the blow of the other day we have responded as a team and with people who are not used to playing."

However, Karanka denied that Madrid would have a huge psychological advantage when the two teams meet again for the Copa del Rey final on May 17, despite not having been defeated in a Madrid derby since 1999.

"A final is a different game. Two teams that play for everything in 90 minutes. It is not going to be easy, nor is there a physiological superiority."

Atleti boss Diego Simeone, meanwhile, was left to rue a missed opportunity as his side struggled to maintain their early intensity before being picked off in Real's only serious attack of the second-half.

"The players are annoyed. Compared with the game at the Bernabeu, the team was decisive, brave and wanted it, but we couldn't achieve it. I am happy with the way we looked to win the game."

However, Simeone also believes Atleti can still spring a surprise in the cup final and is hoping that being such huge underdogs will be an advantage to his side.

"It is a lost opportunity. There will be another one in a short time and others next year. Hopefully we can win the game that matters most.

"There will be a day when this run is broken and a new history will begin. Very few people believe it can possibly be on the 17th, but it is better like this. It will come at some point."

Source: AFP

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