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Ancelotti admits Chelsea made things difficult for Real Madrid: “Caused us problems”



Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid pulled off a second consecutive 2-0 win over Chelsea on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge, and in the process, guaranteed a spot in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

It was a game of two halves indeed at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea were in the driving seat in the opening 45 minutes but could not pull a goal back for the lack of a spark in the final third. Real Madrid punished them for their poor finishing after the break, scoring two goals and putting the game to bed.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media about a plethora of topics in his post-match press conference on the night. He began his interaction with an overview of the result and the game as a whole.

“We are delighted to play in another semi-final and will keep striving to reach the final. Reaching a semi-final is always a success because it allows you to dream of winning another Champions League and playing another final,” he said.

“It was difficult, which is what we expected because our opponents go all out to get through. Chelsea did very well in the first half and caused us a few problems, but we put in a very well-rounded second half, raised our game and moved the ball around better and had more dynamism.”

Standing strong in the final four of the UCL whilst also being in the final of the Copa de Rey is a dream situation for the manager. He highlighted the positives from his camp and the dynamics he considered for the matchups against Chelsea, saying:

“At this stage of the season, the team is doing very well. We have worked well over recent games and the team is highly motivated and focused. We are very solid and we concede very few goals.

“At half-time, we talked about fixing some defensive problems because we suffered a bit in the first half. I put Valverde on the left to help Camavinga because that’s where Kanté came in and James was also there.”

Forwards win games but solid defences win titles. The Italian manager stressed the importance of being solid at the back and how it served as a foundation for his side’s success.

“We can make a difference when there is a collective defensive commitment. That’s the basis for showing the quality we have. We have a lot of quality and being solid at the back helps us a lot,” Ancelotti said.

Rodrygo Goes scored both goals on the night and delivered the knockout punch to Frank Lampard’s team. Real Madrid’s manager was harsh with his criticism of the Brazilian for a relatively mixed performance overall but praised him for his effectiveness.

“His performance was not as good as others he’s had, but he was extremely effective. He made a difference and won the game with his two goals. We’re lucky to have young players with so much energy and quality at this club. It’s something to look forward to. They give us a lot of confidence for the future.”

Less than a minute before the half-time whistle, the hosts created a spectacular chance when a pinpoint cutback across the field deposited the ball at Marc Cucurella’s feet. What appeared to be a certain goal was only prevented by Thibaut Courtois’ heroics, on which Ancelotti said,

“The save to deny Cucurella was crucial because it could’ve changed the pattern of play in the second half. It was important because Chelsea played with a lot of intensity.”

On Tuesday, Ancelotti overtook the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson as the person with the most games in the history of the UEFA Champions League. When quizzed about the record, he did not hold back his happiness.

“It’s an honour for me to reach the figures of a great coach and a great person in Ferguson. I’m honoured and delighted to be alongside him.”

Source: Real Madrid website

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Real Madrid News

Harry Kane ‘very close’ to completing Real Madrid move, only final details remain – report



Jude Bellingham’s move to Real Madrid was finally closed earlier today as officially confirmed by Borussia Dortmund on their website. Yet, the offices at Santiago Bernabeu have not even taken a break to celebrate their success.

According to reports from Alfredo Pedullà, Los Blancos are now completely focused on the acquisition of Harry Kane. The English striker’s arrival is very close to approaching closure and only a few details remain to be sorted.

The Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur representatives reportedly held a meeting today over the striker’s transfer. The agenda was to agree on a number for the transfer fee.

The Premier League side began the proceedings with an expectation of €100 to €110 million in exchange for Kane. However, the Merengues suggested a lower point at €80 to €90 million, albeit with the option to include bonuses.

There is not much separating the two parties at the moment, and the minor gap will be bridged in the coming days. Overall, the meeting ended with a broad understanding between the two clubs.

Carlo Ancelotti sees the English striker as the centre-piece of his attack for next season given the recent departure of Karim Benzema. After all, Kane has been one of football’s most consistent goalscorers over the past decade.

Yet, Los Blancos cannot afford to let their guard down with one signing and will need to rope in at least two more names in attack to serve as backup options. The exits of Mariano Diaz, Marco Asensio, and Eden Hazard leave them with no squad depth, after all.

Kane has scored 30, 17, and 23 goals in his last three seasons in the Premier League and is the epitome of consistency. Further, he had three assists in his most recent league season and created 14 big chances.

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