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Ancelotti talks Militao, Vazquez, Rudiger, Alaba, penalties after Villarreal 2-1 Real Madrid



Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Real Madrid succumbed to their second loss of the 2022/23 La Liga season as Villarreal secured a 2-1 victory over the champions at Estadio de la Ceramica.

Carlo Ancelotti fielded his strongest possible XI against Quique Setien’s side as he looked to put an end to Los Blancos’ poor run at Villarreal’s home turn in recent years.

But it was not to be as the hosts were clearly the better team on the evening and took the lead through Yeremy Pino. A Karim Benzema penalty reinstated parity around the hour mark but Gerard Moreno dispatched a spot-kick minutes later to put his team ahead again.

With the defeat, Real Madrid spurned a great chance to move to the top of the table, especially with Barcelona facing a tough challenge against Atletico Madrid tomorrow.

Talking after the game, manager Ancelotti expressed his disappointment at the outcome on the evening.

“It was an open game, we compete but Villarreal played better than us. We didn’t defend well. They were better and we couldn’t play at their level. We made mistakes that we don’t usually do. We didn’t play well,” he said.

Talking about the penalty incidents during the match, the Real Madrid boss said: “The two penalties were correct according to the rules so of course the referee has to respect it.”

On whether there is something wrong with the handball rules, he added: “I don’t know if football has a problem. The match was even and competitive. Villarreal played better than us. We didn’t defend well, there were spaces between the lines. They played at a high level.”

Lamenting on what went wrong for his team, the Italian added: “We were bad, especially in defense. We tried to create but we were too open in midfield. We should have done more.”

On whether the players were tired after the World Cup last month, the manager said: “My players are fine. Of course they’re not as fit as before but the problem of today wasn’t that.”

The manager opted to start Eder Militao over Lucas Vazquez at right-back with Dani Carvajal out with injury. Explaining his decision, Ancelotti said:

“Militao started as the right-back because Lucas Vazquez played 90 minutes against Cacereño and was tired. Militao did well with Brazil. and he was really good today in defence today.”

On the performances of the centre-backs, Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba, he said: “We didn’t play a great game, especially in defence. We did well but we had to do better. The game was open and they relied on playing balls between the lines, that’s the problem.”

Reiterating what he had said earlier, the Real Madrid boss once again added Villarreal deserved to win after playing better today.

“Villarreal played better than us and when they do it’s a fair win for them,” he signed off.

Source: La Liga YouTube

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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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