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Ancelotti makes Barcelona claim after Real Madrid lose El Clasico: “Didn’t deserve to win”



Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Against all odds, Barcelona managed to pull off a 1-0 win over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Thursday night. Los Blancos were the favourites heading into the Copa del Rey semi-final first-leg clash but failed to create much threat in front of the goal.

Barcelona did not deserve the win but took their chances when the hosts erred. Now, the Merengues have a mountain to climb at Spotify Camp Nou and must stun the league leaders at home if they are to qualify.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media after his team’s defeat in El Clasico and detailed a plethora of topics including who was the favourite to qualify. Madrid Universal brings you the snippets from the Italian tactician’s press conference.

On the result: “Barcelona didn’t deserve to win and that’s obvious. This defeat will not cause any after-effects because we are satisfied with our performance. It’s very difficult to control the game against Barcelona as we did today.”

On his confidence over a comeback: “We are aware that we have to come back, but it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve come from behind in a tie. We’re hurt by the result, but we will go into the second leg confidently.”

On his team’s performance: “It was a good game. We played an intense game, with a lot of pressure up front. The fact that they had 34% possession means that we did well in this aspect, but their defensive line was very tight.”

On their gameplan: “We put in a lot of crosses, but they are strong in the air. It’s the game we wanted to play and it gives us confidence for the second leg. It’s the first 90 minutes and we just have to repeat this aspect of dominance for the game in Barcelona”.

On the few chances created: “We didn’t have a great many chances, but defensively, playing at a fast pace, it was one of Madrid’s best games. Barcelona defended very deep and we had difficulties in our transitional play.”

On controlling the game: “We controlled well, but you can’t always play a transition game. We didn’t allow Barcelona to play the way they wanted to play and that’s good for us. We have to repeat this for the second leg.”

On the second leg: “If we replicate that intensity, we’ll have the chance to turn the tie around. I doubt that Barcelona will set up quite so defensively at Camp Nou. We started and finished the game well.”

On the opponents’ goal: “They scored against us due to an individual mistake and a counter, a rebound. That affected the team a bit. We didn’t allow Barcelona to keep the ball at any time in the game and that’s not without merit.”

On Barcelona’s performance: “It was strange to see Barcelona play like that. They are very solid at the back and haven’t conceded many goals. They defend very well and are committed to their duties. They closed their lines brilliantly, crossing the ball into the box isn’t what we want to be doing.”

On who was the favourite to advance: “We’re behind but we feel confident we can turn it around.”

On the referee: “Overall he had a good game but there was a spell when things got a little bit difficult for him.”

Source: Real Madrid official website

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool monitoring 19-year-old Bundesliga wonderkid – Romano



Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

According to Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all monitoring Bayer Leverkusen and Germany wonderkid Florian Wirtz.

After recovering from his ACL injury, the teenage sensation has been slowly working his way back to his best form. So far this term, Wirtz has managed to rack up a tally of two goals and six assists from 13 matches in all competitions.

The 19-year-old’s talent and potential have never been in question and hence it does not come as a surprise that elite clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all keeping tabs on the German international.

A versatile attacking midfielder, Wirtz is capable of playing anywhere in the final third of the pitch and backs up with top-notch end product. Be it as a false-nine or in a more withdrawn role, the youngster has excelled for Bayer Leverkusen, catching the attention of top teams.

Real Madrid, for their part, are also understood to be among Wirtz’s admirers. Given the situation surrounding Karim Benzema’s fitness and the lack of backup at the top, the youngster could be an option, as he has shown potential while operating through the middle.

But Barcelona also have a strong interest in the teenager with reports even suggesting that they have already made contact with his father to enquire about his situation.

At the same time, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is understood to be a huge admirer of his fellow German and with Roberto Firmino on his way out, Wirtz could be lined up as a possible replacement.

However, Romano adds that the expectation is that Wirtz could stay at Bayer Leverkusen for one more year and depart Germany once the UEFA Euro 2024 is out of the way.

For now, there have been talks or negotiations with any clubs, but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool are all tracking Wirtz and his progress in Germany.

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