Real Madrid News
Ancelotti defends Real Madrid midfielder after Espanyol win: “Wasn’t an easy game”
After a run of three games without a win, Real Madrid secured a 3-1 comeback victory over RCD Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu earlier today.
Joselu opened the scoring for the Catalan club, but Los Blancos bounced back from the early setback as Vinicius Jr and Eder Militao scored in the first half. Marco Asensio then added a third in stoppage time to add more sheen to the scoreline.
The victory means that Real Madrid have now reduced the gap to league leaders Barcelona to six points, although it could rise to nine with the Blaugrana playing Athletic Club tomorrow.
Speaking after the game, manager Carlo Ancelotti acknowledged that it was a complicated game for his team, but insisted that the Merengues controlled the match well.
“Yes, especially since the beginning was not very spectacular, then we came back, we controlled well, it was a good game. We needed to win yes or yes, we won it, now the next one,” Ancelotti said.
The Italian tactician also commented on the performance of midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, who had a mixed game as he was sloppy on the ball on several occasions. But Ancelotti defended the Frenchman, saying:
“He lost some balls but he’s very good. It wasn’t an easy game for him today. He prefers another type of game.”
With an important week coming up with matches against Liverpool and Barcelona, the Real Madrid manager said:
“The matches are all complicated, whatever the rival is. We must look at ourselves, we need the three points, a very important week begins, with the Champions League and Clásico.”
Real Madrid have a three-goal cushion over Liverpool heading into their UCL tie next week. But Ancelotti said that the tie can be tricky and his team cannot let their guard down.
“I hope we can prepare well for Wednesday’s game, which can have a lot of traps, and we have to avoid them,” he said.
On the team’s overall performance, Ancelotti added: “Today we did better in the face of a closed defense, we had more mobility in front, especially on the right, mobility was better. We scored three goals, the control was good.”
The manager was also seen chatting with the referee at half-time, and giving an insight into what he said to the official, he revealed:
“I didn’t understand it, it wasn’t an action of a promising attack. I didn’t understand it, but it’s okay. I don’t understand the yellow cards they give him, sometimes he protests, but his attitude has been exemplary, he scored a fantastic goal.”
Real Madrid News
51-year-old manager the ‘clear favourite’ to succeed Ancelotti at Real Madrid – report
With there being uncertainty surrounding the future of Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, it seems like Los Blancos have identified the ideal candidate to succeed the Italian if he leaves.
Indeed, according to TyC Sports in Argentina, former PSG and Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino is the clear favourite to replace Ancelotti once he moves on from Real Madrid.
The 51-year-old tactician is currently unattached after having been let go of by PSG last summer. And, he could now make a sensational return to management with Real Madrid.
Ancelotti has a contract with the Merengues until the summer of 2024. But, his future is not entirely secure at this point as the current champions of Spain and Europe are losing the La Liga title race to Barcelona while they are also hanging by a thread in Copa del Rey.
Unless the 63-year-old leads Real Madrid to a major trophy this term, an exit could be on the cards. And, the Brazilian national team are lying in wait to swoop him away if such a scenario materialises.
Several names such as Raul Gonzalez, Zinedine Zidane, Julian Nagelsmann, and Xabi Alonso have been linked with the Real Madrid job if Ancelotti leaves.
But, now it is being claimed that Pochettino has emerged as the frontrunner to take over from the Italian tactician. The 51-year-old is understood to be president Florentino Perez’s most favourite candidate and is seen as a perfect fit at Real Madrid.
Pochettino had the chance of taking over at Real Madrid in the past but could not secure a release from Tottenham. Now, though, he is unattached and has reportedly even rejected a chance to rejoin Spurs as he is ready to wait until the summer for Real Madrid.
The report also suggests that Pochettino has previously rejected the likes of Ajax, Chelsea, Belgium national team and Brazil as well as he continues to wait for an approach from Los Blancos at the end of the season.