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Ancelotti talks Ceballos, Asensio, Rodrygo, Vinicius after Villarreal 2-3 Real Madrid



Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images

Real Madrid came back from two goals down to defeat Villarreal 3-2 away from home to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.

Coming into the game on the back of the Spanish Super Cup defeat to Barcelona, Carlo Ancelotti’s men looked in shambles in the first half as Etienne Capoue and Samuel Chukwueze gave Villarreal a two-goal lead heading into half-time.

However, Los Blancos were woken up from their slumber after the break as Vinicius Jr. pulled a goal back before Eder Militao leveled things up. Finally, Dani Ceballos scored the winner in the 86th minute to help Real Madrid book a place in the quarter-finals.

Speaking after the match, manager Ancelotti expressed his happiness at the outcome of the game but admitted that his team were well below par in the first half. Below are the snippets from his interaction with the media after the match.

On the first-half performance: “I was really angry at half-time and I decided to take a risk and press high up. We weren’t being forceful enough in our duels and I told them to wake up, there was still time to come back. They definitely woke up. It wasn’t a good first half and we can’t be playing like that.”

On the second half: “In the second period, it was an incredible reaction, as it always is. This club never gives up but we can’t wait until near the end of the game to react.”

On the team’s personality: “We played a very poor first half and quite an unexpected second because it’s difficult to switch the dynamic like that after the first half we saw. The team showed great personality to turn things around. The second half is fantastic for our confidence. We didn’t give up and I’m sure you guys have had to change your articles.”

On Dani Ceballos and Marco Asensio: “They really changed the game. They brought more quality and energy to the pitch. They were absolutely key in turning the score and the tie around.”

On Eduardo Camavinga: “He had more energy and showed more character in the second half. He’s learning that he has to look after himself, it was a complete performance from him.”

On taking off Rodrygo: “He had a slight muscle strain and I decided not to risk him. He didn’t acknowledge me because I think he forgot, I don’t think it’s a big deal.”

On the clash between Vinicius Junior and Pepe Reina: “It was nothing. He was a bit wound up with Vini Jr., that’s all. I have a good relationship with him. What I saw, was that Vini Jr. got kicked a lot, like he does every game.”

Source: Real Madrid official website

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid rising star suffered against Atletico due to veteran forward’s absence, says Simeone



Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s 3-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid was not the first time were in trouble this season. In fact, the Merengues have gone behind early in almost every league game so far.

However, the difference on Sunday night was that they never really mounted a comeback. More importantly, Jude Bellingham did not come good, for the first time.

Simeone unravels the mystery

A jubilant Diego Simeone spoke to the media after his side downed Real Madrid by three goals to one and spoke about a plethora of topics. 

Interestingly, he commented specifically on why Bellingham did not have an impact at Civitas Metropolitano, citing the absence of Joselu as a key factor.

“No, the spaces were reduced and I think that Joselu’s lack of presence left him with fewer chances to get there, when he takes advantage of Joselu’s aerial play. We controlled him better, he’s extraordinary,” he said, as quoted by AS.

He even called out the refereeing on the night and insisted that the Real Madrid star-boy should have seen red for his late tackle on Angel Correa, saying:

“It looked like a sending-off to me live, it was a hard leg up, with Angelito hitting the ball.”

Joselu’s absence affected Bellingham, believes Simeone. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Ironically, he defended his defender Jose Maria Gimenez for an equally threatening tackle on the night.

“A bad foul, it’s a yellow card because it goes sideways. Bellingham goes from the front and I think it’s a bit more,” he stated paradoxically.

No time to lament

The game at Civitas Metropolitano may not have gone Real Madrid’s way. Yet, it is good for the Merengues to taste defeat early and see the gaping holes in their dynamic.

Carlo Ancelotti admitted in his press conference that he bore the lion’s share of the fault for Sunday’s loss and that he would have done things differently if given the chance.

“Maybe I could have done it better. It’s pretty clear. When the team doesn’t do what it has to do, it’s my responsibility,” he stated.

Nevertheless, Los Blancos have a hectic schedule ahead with two games in the next five days and a UCL fixture against Napoli next week. With Vinicius Jr back, one hopes they find their mojo once again.

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