Adama Coulibaly knows AJ Auxerre will "have to be vigilant the whole time" when they attempt to collect their first points in Group G at home against Real Madrid CF on Tuesday.
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AJ Auxerre defender Adama Coulibaly is eager to prove his side have learned the lessons of their Matchday 1 loss to AC Milan as they prepare to welcome Real Madrid CF's attacking armada on Tuesday.
The French club made a promising start to their UEFA Champions League Group G opener at San Siro only to spurn their chances and succumb to a pair of Zlatan Ibrahimović strikes in the final 25 minutes. The opposition will be no less daunting on Matchday 2, but Coulibaly feels he and his colleagues will be more alert to what is required of them.
"The big clubs don't need a lot of chances to score," he said. "Milan had one or two and managed to score. That's what it's like at the top level; you've got to keep learning from that. You have to really focus and you have to be vigilant the whole time. Everything happens very quickly with them. They take one or two touches, everything happens so fast, and suddenly they've scored."
Above all, the Malian international is wary of Madrid's explosive forward Cristiano Ronaldo. "It's not a good idea to let him turn and run at you, so he's difficult to mark," the 30-year-old said. "If you stay tight, you've got a chance to keep him quiet, but if he's facing you he's hard to stop. But that's football: you're not defending alone and if he gets past you, there'll be another person who can come and win the ball."
Coulibaly predicts Auxerre will have their say in the match. "In France, we've seen Lyon do quite well in their matches against Real," he said, recalling Los Merengues' round of 16 defeat last season, which featured a 1-0 loss at the Stade de Gerland. "It'll be good to have them here because we'll have our supporters behind us, and the atmosphere and everything. That'll give us more confidence than if we were at Real."
Goalkeeper Olivier Sorin will be adopting a positive attitude also. "They're definitely players we're used to watching on television, but on the pitch you can't get too worried about it," he explained. "You tell yourself: 'They're men just like me, with two arms, two legs and a head.' And on the pitch it's up to me to show I can play at that level too."
Adama Coulibaly and Olivier Sorin were speaking to the official UEFA Champions League Magazine Show.