Rio Ferdinand says Real Madrid’s “character and quality” shone through against Manchester City after coming from behind to beat the Premier League champions 3-1 (6-5 on aggregate).
City spectacularly blew a two-goal lead after 89 minutes thanks to two quickfire goals from substitute Rodrygo, before a Karim Benzema penalty sealed the La Liga side a remarkable comeback victory in extra-time.
Ferdinand believes the way the 13-time European champions got back into the match was not entirely unexpected.
“Every single time this Real Madrid team pegged Manchester City back,” the former Manchester United defender told BT Sport.
“They never seemed in total control. It wasn’t the convincing Manchester City we have seen.
“Real Madrid prove time and time again they will get chances. I was on edge for City. The character and quality of this Real Madrid team speaks for itself.”
Real Madrid are bidding to win the double this season having sealed their 35th La Liga title last weekend.
Former Real, Liverpool and Manchester City midfielder Steve McManaman believes the strength in depth in Real’s squad is what is helping Carlo Ancelotti’s side produce winning results.
“They all knew what they had to do and it was quite refreshing to see a load of players who have been in the Premier League on loan,” he said.
“You think Dani Ceballos, Jesus Vallejo – who was on loan at Wolves – came on at the end.
“Eduardo Camavinga looks excellent, he is a superstar even though he’s stll a young lads. Nacho and Lucas Vazquez came on and they always do a great job.
“They’re never ten out of ten but they’re always seven or eight and you can rely on them all day long.
“This is not the most glamorous Real Madrid team you will have seen in the history of this club but they played as a team and they believed they could get a job done.”
Ferdinand, McManaman and Joleon Lescott all praised the job Ancelotti has done since returning to the club in the summer.
“Carlo Ancelotti’s body of work stands up against anyone in any era,” Ferdinand said.
“He is calm, he is measured and he knows how to win.”
McManaman added: “Ancelotti was at Everton last year and has comeback to Real Madrid and the job he has done is absolutely exceptional. He is an absolute superstar. His record and the trophies he has won speaks for itself.”
Lescott said: “You can see what Carlo Ancelotti does for this group of players. A remarkable manager.”