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Ancelotti says referee had ‘a plan for the game’ following handball robbery vs Sevilla

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Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti did not hold back in his criticism of the referee after Real Madrid’s comeback win against Sevilla on Sunday night.

Having gone behind two goals in the first half, Real Madrid fought their way back into the contest in the second half as goals from substitutes Rodrygo Goes and Nacho Fernandez helped them reinstate parity.

Karim Benzema then dispatched the match-winning goal in the stoppage time to send the travelling supporters into a frenzy at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

The game was marred by some inconsistent refereeing decisions, with Los Blancos being at the receiving end of a harsh handball call.

Vinicius Junior had put the ball into the back of the net in the 76th minute, but the goal did not stand as the referee deemed that the Brazilian had handled the ball. Despite a lengthy VAR check the decision was not overturned, even though it was evident that it was not a handball.

At the same time, Sevilla went unpunished when the ball appeared to have struck the arm of Diego Carlos inside the box.

Speaking in his post-match press conference (h/t DAZN), manager Ancelotti expressed his displeasure at the officiating, claiming that the referee ‘had a plan’ against his team.

“Vinicius’ goal was never a handball. It’s difficult for me to understand the handballs. It seems the referee had a plan for the game.

“Vinicius told me that he didn’t touch the ball. I can’t believe the ref disallowed that, if he had given the red card to Camavinga as well – his plan would have worked perfectly.”

Vinicius Jr. surprised following referee's handball call - Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

Commenting on his team’s ability to come back from difficult situations, the manager said: “We’re getting used to such games, this team is capable of special things. Everyone is waiting for Real Madrid to have a flat tire, but we’re cruising through.”

“I’m not saying that I am surprised because this team does not surprise me, but this second half makes me proud. I have to thank all of the players,” he added.

Ancelotti also praised the impact made by Rodrygo on the night while also name-checking Eduardo Camavinga for showing improvements in recent weeks.

“Rodrygo made a difference, just as Camavinga did these last few games. We’re working on them to improve and start getting into starting line-up,” the Merengues’ head coach stated.

When asked if Rodrygo was better utilised as an impact substitute from the bench, the manager replied: “This is what stats say. I think he will be a great player. He played an amazing game today.”

The Italian tactician insisted that Real Madrid had not yet won the La Liga title, but the victory away to Sevilla will serve as a major confidence booster. “We haven’t won the league yet but it’s a confidence boost to win here tonight,” he said.

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Real Madrid News

Spain midfielder credits Real Madrid assistant manager for career success

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Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Spain’s European Championship campaign so far has been one filled with revelations. From young Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams on the wings to the ever-so-solid midfield, La Roja have impressed across the park and have taken the tournament by storm.

One such player who has played a critical role for the team despite not being in many pundits’ squad for the tournament is Fabian Ruiz. The PSG midfielder has been sensational for Luis de la Fuente’s men so far, scoring once and providing one assist in two games.

Despite not having any direct links with Real Madrid, the Spanish midfielder interestingly credits Davide Ancelotti for his success and AS brings the story.

A chapter in Naples

Fabian Ruiz may have never played for Los Blancos in his career so far, but he crossed paths with the Ancelottis in Naples a few years ago.

Ruiz signed for the Italian club from Real Betis in 2018 for a fee of €30 million. At the time, he was not known widely and was just seen as another routine Spanish midfielder aspiring to make it big.

As revealed by the player in a recent interview, however, it was Carlo Ancelotti’s son and Real Madrid assistant manager Davide Ancelotti who first saw the spark in him.

“Meeting him was a very important step in my career. From the beginning, he backed me, and it was not easy to pay what Napoli paid for me, a player who had not played much in La Liga with Betis.”

“If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. I have a very good relationship and friendship with him,” he added.

Fabian Ruiz credits Davide Ancelotti for his success. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

A special eye

Ruiz’s comments on Davide Ancelotti only make it clearer as to why Carlo Ancelotti holds his son’s advice in high regard. It is, after all, a testament to the tactician’s keen eye for special talent.

As revealed earlier this year, it was the manager’s son who suggested Joselu’s substitution against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinals when the team was on the brink of elimination.

What happened next was history as the veteran scored twice within minutes to turn the game around and send the Bavarians crashing out.

Davide has been rumoured to be interested in walking his own path soon as a specialist coach, but as it stands, will continue working under his father for at least one more year at Real Madrid.

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