Two goals and one assist for Jude Bellingham guaranteed Real Madrid a dominant 3-1 win over Almeria on Saturday night.
Los Blancos went down early to former Castilla star Sergio Arribas’ goal but hit back strong in the period that followed to register a comeback. While Bellingham scored the equaliser and the team’s second, it was Vinicius Jr who netted the final goal on the night.
Speaking to the media after his team’s convincing 3-1 win over Almeria, Carlo Ancelotti spoke highly of Jude Bellingham and his adaptation to Real Madrid’s style.
“Bellingham has settled in so well thanks to his maturity and his personality, as well as the fact he’s been in Germany for the last three years. These are elements that have really helped him adapt well to La Liga and to our style. He’s in great shape.”
Providing an overview of the entire game that unfolded against Vincente Moreno’s side, Ancelotti spoke in depth about Almeria’s opener and how Real Madrid pulled back the deficit.
“They caught us out with their first counter-attack, it was pretty much perfect. We could have dealt with it better but sometimes you have to give credit to their quality up top, it was a fantastic move and they got the goal. We didn’t lose control and gradually worked our way into the game.”
“We had a lot of chances and moved around really well, there are no fixed positions. That helps to make life tough for the opposition defensively. We have great variety and that helps us create chances.”
When asked to comment on the formation and system deployed on the night, Ancelotti admitted that there was no single dynamic that encompassed Real Madrid’s versatile performance. He also spoke on the pros and cons of the 4-4-2 system.
“There is no fixed system at the moment. We started out with a low block and then when Modrić and Camavinga came on, we played with two banks of four and felt comfortable.”
“From a defensive perspective you struggle to control the flanks a bit more but going forward, this system gives you all sorts of options,” he added.
The manager went on to praise Andriy Lunin and provide an update on the participation of Kepa Arrizabalaga.
“Lunin has played very well, like the game in Bilbao. We have confidence, the same as with Kepa. Sooner or later he will have to play, it may be the next game.”
Speaking about the role of veterans in the team’s performance, Ancelotti showered praise on Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. Yet, he admitted that the duo would play less this campaign.
“Kroos has played a very good game with the ball, he has had a lot of control. When Modrić entered, he also handled the ball and the times of the game very well.”
“The protagonism will be the same, but they may play a few minutes less. I don’t know,” he added.
The Italian gaffer then went on to comment on the performance of players in the final third. He specifically mentioned that he had not set any goal targets for Vinicius Jr and highlighted the role of different players.
“I haven’t challenged anyone. They are doing well because the mobility they have is good for us to create opportunities. They will continue like this, obviously.”
“In some games, there may be fewer chances, but the bench is well covered with Joselu, who has other characteristics. His presence in the penalty area is going to be very important.”
The coach then revealed his discussions with Vinicius Jr and the specific areas he felt the Brazilian forward had to be more cautious about.
“We discussed him giving the ball away needlessly in the box. Nothing special. I don’t want to stifle his creative streak but sometimes he takes risks and I get a bit angry. But I can tell you I get excited by watching him play far more often than he makes me angry.”
Ancelotti took a firm stance against cameras entering the dressing room as part of his post-match press conference. He went as far as to put his salary on the line for the same.
“The cameras don’t come in because we have the right to stop it. If they force us to let them in, I’d give up my wages to make sure we keep them out.”
Finally, the manager was asked to voice out his views on playing in the high temperature, to which he said,
“We’re fairly used to it. We don’t have any advantage or disadvantage, it’s the same for all the teams and we dealt with it well. It was an intense game, with lots of end-to-end. Almería put in a really good performance. We’re a bit fatigued but nothing more.”
Source: Real Madrid website
Bellingham on his special assist in Girona 0-3 Real Madrid: “Been watching Luka every day”
Real Madrid usurped the top spot in the La Liga standings from arch-rivals FC Barcelona as they defeated Girona 3-0 away at Estadi Montilivi.
It was a fine performance from Carlo Ancelotti’s men against Michel’s side, with the returning Jude Bellingham leading the way for his team.
After being benched against Las Palmas in midweek, the England international returned to the starting XI today and turned in yet another Man of the Match display for Real Madrid.
It all started with Joselu opening the scoring just 15 minutes into the game, with Bellingham assisting the goal with a special, outside-of-the-boot pass from the left side, bringing back memories of Luka Modric doing something similar a few years ago.
Talking about that special pass, Bellingham said: “I’ve been watching Luka every day for months. I just want to be creative. It took the pressure off us at the start.”
On the match and the result, the 20-year-old stated that it was a good day across the board for Real Madrid, as he said: “It was an important win. They were doing very well. We made a statement of intent to La Liga. Three goals, a clean sheet….”
It has been a truly remarkable start to life at Real Madrid for Bellingham and expressing how he feels to play for the Merengues, he exclaimed:
“I feel very good. I have freedom of movement and I’m enjoying football. Whenever I put on this shirt I always try to do my best.”
Apart from assisting Joselu’s opener, Bellingham also got his name on the scoresheet in the second period. Talking about his goal, the wonderkid said:
“It wasn’t a very good finish. I could have scored some more, but the important thing is the victory.”
The strike meant that Bellingham now has seven goals and two assists across all competitions for Real Madrid. Reflecting on his brilliant start, he said:
“It’s a good start, not bad. I would like to continue on this path and I won’t always score or assist, but I will always give my best.”
Bellingham’s celebration has been a huge hit, with kids in school, players from other clubs, and many others mimicking it. When asked how his special celebration originated, he replied:
“I don’t know where I first celebrated. I think it was with Birmingham. It’s an inspiration to see kids doing it in schools. It’s a wonderful thing.”