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Ancelotti talks Joselu, Ceballos, Bellingham, Modric, penalty miss after Union Berlin 2-3 Real Madrid



Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid’s clash against Union Berlin did not get off to the best of starts in the first half. Luka Modric had a penalty saved in the 45th minute before Kevin Volland scored for the German outfit one minute later.

The second half, however, saw a different Real Madrid. Joselu scored a brilliant brace to put the men in white back in the driver’s seat. They were, however, pegged back when the German side found another equaliser in the 85th minute.

Eventually, Dani Ceballos scored a memorable winner for Los Blancos in the 89th minute and sealed a famous win.

Carlo Ancelotti began his post-match press conference on the night by commenting on Real Madrid’s strong start to the season and expressed his joy over the perfect start to the UCL campaign.

“You can’t put a downer on this group stage. We have done very well, playing with continuity and the quality of play has improved compared to the start of the season.”

Despite the positive result on the night, however, the manager expressed his disappointment over the manner in which his team managed the game and pointed out a critical flaw.

“The downside in the last two games is that we didn’t manage the advantage well: not today at 1-2 and not against Betis at 0-1. We have to have good possession when we’re in the lead, but that’s not enough: we have to finish.”

Ancelotti then drifted to the topic of individual performances and began by showering praise on Dani Ceballos who played 89 minutes against Union Berlin.

“The positive thing about that match is that Ceballos has scored an important goal for him and us. He has also played a full game.”

Ancelotti then has words of affirmation for Joselu who found the back of the net twice last night and urged his men to look for the Spanish striker more often.

“Joselu showed his quality, he’s a great finisher in the box and sometimes we have to take more advantage of that, as we did in the second half. In the first half, we played very good football, but we didn’t make much use of Joselu. He finished off a ball in the first half and in the second half, he scored two goals.

“The injury problem has given opportunities to those who play less and they are making the most of it,” Ancelotti added.

On Jude Bellingham, who was at the risk of both being suspended and injured against Union Berlin, the manager said,

“He has seen a silly yellow, but he is very well and in an optimal physical condition. There was no risk in this game.”

“The only change prepared was that of Kroos and Valverde because they were a little tired and I didn’t want to put many minutes on either one. The others were fine,” he added, stressing his plans.

The coach was then quizzed on what he told his team at half-time to bring up his team’s spirit, to which he said,

“I have told them that they have played 40 minutes very well and there have been two minutes of madness. It was a mistake that we had to fix without haste.”

The big question then popped up, for the manager was asked about the penalty that Luka Modric missed last night.

“Looking for a reason is complicated because Luka is usually cold and scores it. It has happened to him twice that he hasn’t scored. It’s not so easy to train it because it’s an environmental problem.”

“We trained him, with Bellingham, Rodrygo, Vinicius, Joselu… What am I telling you? I hope I can change,” he added.

Finally, Ancelotti concluded his press conference with a note on Fran Garcia who impressed at left-back in both defence and offence.

“He has been very good defensively and offensively. He gave the assist for the second goal and in the second half I changed Rodrygo’s position to put in more crosses. One cross was made by him and the other by Fran. It was what we had to do.”

Source: Real Madrid website

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Real Madrid News

‘Will have to put my feelings aside’ – Bellingham on facing Borussia Dortmund in UCL final



Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

It has been a special debut season for Jude Bellingham at Real Madrid.

Since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth €103 million, plus add-ons, last summer, the 20-year-old sensation has become an instant hit at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Despite his form declining a bit in the second half of the season, Bellingham has racked up returns of 23 goals and 12 assists from 41 games in all competitions.

A special game for Bellingham

Having won La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup, Bellingham now has the chance to end the season in the most epic ways possible by lifting the UEFA Champions League, against his former club, in his homeland.

As such, Saturday’s UCL final at Wembley, against Dortmund, is set to be a special one for the young phenom, and he acknowledged as much during an interview today.

“It’s a very special game for me but I’ll have to put feelings aside. It’s been a great season, they’ve made me feel very welcome and I’ve enjoyed playing football with them,” said Bellingham, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

Bellingham faces his former club in the UCL final. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

When asked if he had been in touch with any of his former Dortmund teammates ahead of Saturday’s showpiece event, Bellingham replied:

“I’ve spoken to Sancho, we said we’d meet there. He took me under his wing when I came to Dortmund and that meant a lot to me.”

On how Real Madrid can win the game

Earlier today, Carlo Ancelotti was asked if he had sought any information from Bellingham to prepare a strategy to beat Borussia Dortmund.

The midfielder himself was asked by the media as to how Real Madrid can get past his former club at Wembley this weekend, to which he replied:

“To win we will have to play at our maximum level, if we are at that level it is very difficult for our opponents. The staff are sure to do a great job analysing Dortmund, I trust them 100 per cent.”

Stressing how it is a dream for him to win the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid, Bellingham remarked:

“Winning the Champions League is the reason I’m here, I always dreamed of playing for this team, and this team is linked to the Champions League. I want to be a small part of their history.”

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