Real Madrid climbed back to the top of the La Liga standings as they made it five wins in five, beating Real Sociedad 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.
Los Blancos once again went behind early in the game, with Ander Barrenetxea opening the scoring for La Real just five minutes in, but a second-half comeback and goals from Federico Valverde and Joselu ensured the victory for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
Speaking after the match, the Real Madrid manager acknowledged that his team cannot concede goals like that on a regular basis and make things hard for themselves.
“In five games played, we’ve conceded goals in three of them. We have to avoid that because then it’s hard to get them back and you have to make more effort, as we saw today. And today it was against an opponent who play very good football,” he said.
But, Ancelotti went on to praise the commitment and the intensity of his players, stating that the opposition finds it hard to match that level over 90 minutes.
“We have achieved this thanks to the commitment, energy, and will of the team, which has been a constant in these matches. We are capable of putting in an intensity that our opponents find difficult to sustain for 90 minutes,” he exclaimed.
Analysing the game and the goal that Real Madrid conceded early on, Ancelotti added: “The first half wasn’t bad. We tried to press high up the pitch, but the opposition had a very high defensive line and we had to attack more directly.
“The game was good, although the goal conceded came from a play we had in mind. Real Sociedad usually do this and it was discussed before the game. Sometimes the opposition also have the quality to do it and surprise us.
“We have a lot of options in terms of players who can score goals, but we can’t concede and start losing.”
Highlighting what the match-winner Joselu brings to the table for Real Madrid, the manager said:
“He is a guarantee in attack because he plays very well with his back to goal, with his head and he is very dangerous in the opposition box. Up front we don’t have any player with these characteristics and he’s very important.
“It’s no coincidence that he has scored in both home games because we have more chances. If he hadn’t scored I would have changed him too because I wanted more control in midfield. I hesitated whether to take him off or not after he scored.”
Joselu and Valverde’s goals were both assisted by new signing Fran Garcia, who also had to deal with the threat of Takefusa Kubo at the back. Highlighting the left-back’s display, Ancelotti said:
“Kubo played very well and was very dangerous. In the first half, he [Garcia] played well and in the second, he gave us two fantastic assists that allowed us to win the game.”
On the performance of star man Jude Bellingham who had a relatively quiet night compared to his explosive start, Ancelotti said:
“He played a steady game, working hard. He didn’t get much into the box except for Brahim’s last play. Real Sociedad have a very advanced defensive line and it was more difficult for him.”
Stressing on the importance of Dani Carvajal in the current system, Ancelotti said: “The width is given to you by the two full-backs and that’s why he’s further forward when we have the ball. As the attackers are more inside we need the full-backs further forward.”
On Rodrygo not scoring on the night, the Real Madrid boss stated: “I liked his play because he has positioned himself very well between the lines.
“Like Valverde, he is one of those most affected by this break because he arrived on Thursday afternoon. It’s not so easy to recover after arriving on Thursday. He didn’t score, but that’s OK.”
French midfielder admits considering PSG move before Real Madrid called him
Aurelien Tchouameni has had an exciting start to his career at Real Madrid. Since joining the club for almost €80 million last summer, the young Frenchman has now become a pivotal figure in Real Madrid’s midfield unit.
However, prior to his move to Santiago Bernabeu, the midfielder was closely linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
In a recent interview, Tchouameni opened up on his links to PSG but revealed his decision to join Real Madrid.
Aurelien Tchouameni on PSG links
Talking about speculations linking him to PSG, Tchouameni said (h/t Madrid Zone), “PSG? Frankly, I thought about it. It’s a very big European club, we want the French clubs to succeed.”
“But honestly, when Real Madrid calls you, it’s very complicated to say no,” Tchouameni added.
The midfielder was linked with a move to PSG during his time at AS Monaco. Les Parisiens wanted to sign the youngster as part of their plans to reinforce the midfield unit.
Tchouameni, though, ended up opting for a move to Real Madrid, which turned out to be a prudent decision from the midfielder’s end.
Tchouameni’s career at Real Madrid
Aurelien Tchouameni made a total of 50 competitive appearances during his maiden season at Real Madrid.
Although the Frenchman was not entirely a first-team regular in Carlo Ancelotti’s setup, his stature in the team is expected to grow in the coming years.
Especially as Toni Kroos and Luka Modric move on at the end of the season, there is scope for Tchouameni to become a first-team regular in the Real Madrid midfield in the years to come.
The former AS Monaco starlet has already played a crucial role in the starting eleven so far this season and it is only going to continue as the season progresses.