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Ancelotti talks Vinicius, Rodrygo, Liverpool draw after Rayo Vallecano 3-2 Real Madrid

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Real Madrid fell to their first La Liga defeat of the season to Rayo Vallecano on Monday night, which meant they remain in the second spot in the standings. The game was evenly contested for the entire 90 minutes and no side seemingly had the upper hand.

Santi Comesaña opened the scoring for the hosts in the fifth minute before Luka Modric levelled the score from the penalty spot. Real Madrid took the lead via Eder Militao four minutes from half time but Rayo struck back just three minutes later. Ultimately, Andoni Iraola’s men got the win courtesy of a penalty in the 67th minute.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press after his team’s humbling at Vallecas and spoke about the defeat and the UCL draw amongst other topics. Here are the highlights of the manager’s press conference.

On what went wrong at Vallecas: “We needed to be a bit tougher. We had trouble playing out from the back. We could’ve played more direct balls forward and we lost a few individual duels. The quality was lacking a bit for us to draw the game. We had chances to score that we’d put away normally and we were a bit below par in terms of toughness.”

On whether the poor result had something to do with the nearing World Cup: “It’s not related to the World Cup. We’re heading into the break a bit stretched because we’ve played a lot of games. This is happening to every team. It’s hard to make it to the end and even more so when you play every three days. We’re not as fresh as we were before.

“In these types of games when the opposition presses you and is aggressive, you need players with fresh legs. It’s a normal thing. We’ve dropped off a bit but we’re still in the fight for everything. We’re disappointed we’re not top, but it’s a long league season. The players are focused and doing their best. Sometimes things don’t go your way.”

On the struggles of the forward line: “We lost a lot of individual battles. I’m talking about Vinicius, Rodrygo and all the rest, who normally do a good job. It was a difficult game for everyone, especially for Vini. When it’s hard to play out from the back, the forwards suffer the most. Vini was closely marked and he always is”.

On where the team fell short: “The problem in today’s game wasn’t a physical one. When I talk about winning balls and strength, I’m not talking about the physical element. Not getting the ball out from the back could be because of strategy, which perhaps wasn’t the most appropriate. We didn’t play the long ball. The manager may have failed somewhere.”

On how the team took the defeat: “We are disappointed and bothered by the defeat. The team has performed really well in this first stage of the season. We will look at what happened today. But now we have to think about our next match.

“I’m not disappointed with my players. We lacked the strength that our opponent had. We lost the head-to-head battles. Quality won’t let you win if you don’t equal your opposition’s attitude.”

On the Champions League draw: “Liverpool will say the same thing about the draw. It’ll be a very entertaining tie and a very tough one. There’ll be a great atmosphere at Anfield and also at the Bernabéu. It’ll be a spectacular tie.”

Source: Real Madrid website

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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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