Real Madrid could only muster a draw against Atletico Madrid in the fourth Madrid derby of the season last night. The hosts were on course to take all three points against their local rivals, but a 93rd-minute equaliser killed the atmosphere anti-climactically.
Brahim Diaz was the hero on the night for Los Blancos, but the team’s domination on the field included vital contributions from every player in white. Daniel Carvajal, Toni Kroos and Andriy Lunin were some of the others who stepped up their game against Diego Simeone’s side.
Speaking to the media after his team’s unfortunate draw in the Madrid derby, Carlo Ancelotti reflected that the result was unfair on the hosts who played a superior game to their opponents on the night.
“It has been a very good match on our part. We have played well and controlled well, but we have had the bad luck to concede at the last minute. We lacked height and there we had to suffer.”
“We deserved to win, but there have been many games that we have won in the last few minutes. We don’t have to blame ourselves for anything. We are leaders and we have the opportunity to strike a blow on the table next Saturday,” he added gracefully.
The next question, unsurprisingly, was about the team’s morale after dropping valuable points against Atletico Madrid and how the dressing room was reacting to the harsh result.
“Tranquility because the team is very good. We play soccer very well and that’s what gives me the most confidence for the future of the League. We have a strong team.”
“We had casualties, but everyone contributed and everyone has committed themselves to the maximum. We are not satisfied because he deserved to win,” he added on the adversities the team had to conquer.
Once again, Ancelotti stressed the fact that Real Madrid themselves have won many a point in the dying minutes and it was only a matter of time before they found themselves at the receiving end of such a result.
“We have had a lot of comeback matches and we were happy. The team has to be calm because it has given everything. We left satisfied, with confidence and with tranquillity.”
“We are leaders and with a two-point advantage over the second,” he added.
Despite having several starting players injured, Real Madrid put in one of their best shifts against Diego Simeone’s men last night. Commenting on the quality and passion of his players, the manager said,
“I highlight everyone’s commitment, no matter how many minutes they have. Everyone is ready, prepared and contributes. The commitment of the team is very great and when you have a team of quality and commitment it is easier to achieve success.”
One of the big talking points on the night was over the refereeing, for Real Madrid had at least three penalty opportunities that were not awarded by the referee. Ancelotti refused to comment on the officiating, saying,
“I don’t comment on the penalties. I don’t know the reasons why they haven’t been whistled, but you don’t need to look back and forward.”
While Real Madrid took control of the game by its scruff and dominated the play, Atletico Madrid constantly looked to play balls over the top and beat the hosts in the aerial game.
“They have taken advantage of the centres a lot and the idea was to avoid comfortable centres with pressure. The stopped ball help was important, that’s why we played in the area,” the coach said on Atletico Madrid’s strategy.
“Valverde and Camavinga contributed a lot in this regard. The central pair has played a good game and the match deserved to be won without a doubt,” he added.
The Italian gaffer went on to admit that the only reason his men lost two points on the night was due to the opposition’s supremacy in the air.
“It was a play in which they had more height. We have won the air duel and that’s it. If you’re taller, it’s easier to win the aerial duel.”
Vinicius Jr was initially set to start on the night but felt discomfort during training and was moved to the bench. After much confusion, Brahim Diaz replaced him in the lineup and produced a man-of-the-match performance.
“He has tried, but he had a contracture in his cervicals. He wasn’t comfortable in the warm-up,” Ancelotti said on Vinicius’ situation.
“We had the option of Brahim or Joselu and the entrance of Brahim allowed us not to change the defensive system. Just that. Joselu then came in and did well, as always,” he added.
The manager also provided an update on the situation of Antonio Rudiger who could not start on the night and Eduardo Camavinga who appeared to be physically struggling towards the end of his night.
“Camavinga, I don’t know. They haven’t told me anything. I had a blow to the knee, nothing special I think. Rüdiger was uncomfortable this morning and hopefully, he can recover for this Saturday.”
Ancelotti awarded the start to Andriy Lunin over Kepa Arrizabalaga on the night, and the Ukrainian proved his worth with a special performance. Commenting on Lunin’s performance, the coach said,
“He has done very well. He has made a stop to Griezmann and has helped the team to stop the ball.”
Finally, the Real Madrid coach concluded his press conference by reiterating that he will not be pressed for resources in the next game, thus marking the end of the club’s ’emergency’.
“It’s been a special match. Two players who could play as a central player have fallen and the emergency is over today because for the next game, we have Tchouameni and Rüdiger.”
Source: Real Madrid website
Real Madrid do not want to pay ‘crazy money’ for top defensive target – Romano
As has been reported by multiple reliable sources today, Alphonso Davies is likely to be on his way to Real Madrid from Bayern Munich in the summer.
It has been suggested that the 23-year-old Canadian left-back already has a verbal agreement with Los Blancos over a transfer either this summer or in 2025, when his contract with the Bundesliga champions runs down.
Now, the idea is for Real Madrid to start negotiations with Bayern Munich over a transfer fee so that a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached for the summer window.
Real Madrid will not pay crazy money
Amidst all this, Fabrizio Romano has come out with an update claiming that Real Madrid do not intend to pay ‘crazy money’ to sign Davies from Bayern Munich given that he will be entering the final year of his contract.
The Italian transfer expert claims that Real Madrid have been the preferred destination for Davies for a while now and that the personal terms between the two parties will not be an issue at all.
So, a summer move would now hinge on Bayern Munich’s asking price for their left-back.
Romano states that the Bavarian giants will attempt to tie Davies down to a new contract until May or even June.
But if the left-back, who is demanding hefty wages worth around €20 million, does not agree to sign, they will be forced to sell instead of losing him for free next year.
In that scenario, Real Madrid will be best-placed to sign Davies, although Los Blancos will not go overboard with their spending on the Canadian.