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

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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 face Premier League, Saudi Arabia competition for free transfer target

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to welcome two new stars this summer, Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, but the Merengues are keen on further bolstering their squad.

Owing to the embarrassment of riches Real Madrid possess in midfield, replacing Toni Kroos with a new signing in midfield is not seen as an immediate priority.

Nonetheless, interesting opportunities will invariably be evaluated closely and it appears the name of Adrien Rabiot has entered the club’s crosshairs.

Real Madrid not the only ones interested

But, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Real Madrid face stiff competition from Premier League clubs and Saudi Arabian teams in their pursuit of midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

The French midfielder is set to become a free agent if he chooses not to renew his contract with Juventus, a decision that seems increasingly likely.

Rabiot set to become a free agent this summer. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Known for his technical prowess and versatility, Rabiot excels at playing multiple roles in midfield and notably thriving as a goal threat with late runs inside the opposition box that tend to catch opponents off guard.

While Real Madrid have no shortage of quality in midfield, Dani Ceballos’ exit could pave the way for the 29-year-old to secure a signing for Los Blancos.

However, Real Madrid would have to outmanoeuvre both the financial prowess of Saudi Arabian teams and the competitive allure of Premier League clubs to secure Rabiot’s signature.

On top of that, Juventus are also not giving up on their efforts to try and renew the contract of the French international.

In any case, Rabiot is unlikely to be a priority target for the club but they will be sure to keep a close eye on how his situation develops.

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