Real Madrid News
Ancelotti’s admission after Real Madrid 2-3 Villarreal: “Our level in La Liga has dropped”
After two inspiring wins on the run, Real Madrid fell to a 3-2 defeat against Villarreal in La Liga to give Barcelona a golden chance to go 15 points clear. The men in white led twice on the night but the Yellow Submarines came back on both occasions and took the lead with ten minutes to go.
There were questionable decisions taken by Carlo Ancelotti on the night as well as subpar performances across the field. In the end, the Villarreal curse for Real Madrid proved itself to be a real thing as they lost to the side for the second time this season.
Ancelotti spoke to the press about the defeat, lack of motivation, the upcoming challenges and his own mistakes on the night. Here is a round-up of his press conference.
The Real Madrid coach began his press conference with a quick round-up of the game at Santiago Bernabeu, the flaws of his side, and the aspects Villarreal excelled in.
“We struggled to win the ball back. We tried to win it back in the opposition half, but we lacked balance and that’s why we conceded three goals. Villarreal play very well with the ball and they force you out of position. We took the lead twice, but we weren’t able to score a third and we lost the game. The lack of balance was key.”
The 90 minutes that played out in Madrid were beautiful for a neutral viewer, equally matched between two competitive sides. All three results would have been fair on the night and Ancelotti highlighted the same whilst criticising the flaws in his side.
“We didn’t deserve to lose although we could have played much better. Physically the team is fine and, having so many chances, we didn’t really deserve to lose but we lacked the balance we’ve had in recent games. We took the lead on two occasions and should have been more consistent. Our level in the league has dropped compared to last year.”
Barcelona can open up a 15-point lead over Los Blancos with a win on Monday night, and the league race appears to have slipped out of Real Madrid’s hand. Yet, the manager insisted that he would not give up hope.
“We’re not going to let our guard down. That won’t happen. There are 10 games left and we’re going to fight every game to get as many points as possible.”
The game against Villarreal was nested exactly between two high-intensity clashes between Barcelona and Chelsea. Ancelotti outlined the impact of the schedule on the performance.
“Preparing for a game between two matches that are much more important is complicated, especially in terms of motivation. Today we didn’t have balance and we didn’t play as a team.”
The optimal balance between defence, midfield and attack is crucial in clashes against top teams, for they can capitalise on small imbalances and nuances. Commenting on his decision to alter the dynamics of balance, the Italian tactician said,
“Balance is very important, but sometimes you approach a game in a way that you don’t have a lot of balance, considering the pros and cons. We wanted to open the game up, but we struggled a lot to recover the ball today.
“They were playing balls in between the lines and getting in behind us. If I put four forwards on it’s because I don’t think the balance was the most important thing. If I was thinking about balance, I’d have tried to control things more in midfield.”
The coach was involved in a visible protest against the referee on the sidelines and was asked about the reason behind his frustration.
“Repeated fouling is a yellow card and I protested because you can’t show a yellow after nine fouls,” he told the media.
Real Madrid face Chelsea midweek in the quarterfinal of the UEFA Champions League. The first leg will be played at Santiago Bernabeu, and Ancelotti assured fans that the defeat would bear no weight on the result.
“With regard to the Champions League, this defeat won’t affect our confidence for Wednesday’s game, which will be different. I may use the same eleven from Camp Nou. Today I rotated a lot of players because the match against Barcelona took a lot out of us physically and mentally.”
The press finally asked a leading question to the manager about Aurelien Tchouameni’s performance on the night which was far from his usual best. Ancelotti refused to single out any particular player for the defeat and shared the blame among the entire team.
“Everyone was below par today. It was difficult to maintain 100% motivation after the Barcelona game. It’s fairly normal. This defeat hurts. I don’t like to talk about individuals because only a few players were on top of their game today.”
Source: Real Madrid website
Real Madrid News
Real Madrid’s interest in €70 million-rated left-back is ‘serious’ – report
Even though Fran Garcia will be arriving to bolster the left-back slot, MARCA (h/t Madrid Xtra) is reporting that Real Madrid’s interest in Bayern Munich defender Alphonso Davies is ‘serious’.
The left-back position emerged as a major issue for Real Madrid during the 2022/23 season as Ferland Mendy spent a large chunk of the campaign out injured. With David Alaba reluctant to reprise the role, manager Carlo Ancelotti had to turn to Nacho and Eduardo Camavinga as options.
Heading into the new season, Real Madrid wish to address this issue. The plan is to offload Ferland Mendy or even possibly use him as a makeweight in the Harry Kane operation.
And, Davies is being targeted to replace the Frenchman. The Canadian international, whose current market value is €70 million, has developed into one of the most reliable left-backs in Europe during his time at Bayern Munich.
Despite having had to deal with injuries, Davies finished the 2022/23 season with a return of three goals and eight assists from 38 matches across all competitions.
The possibility of the 22-year-old pairing up with Vinicius Jr on Real Madrid’s left flank does seem very appealing. And, that is why, Los Blancos are understood to be willing to pay what it takes to sign the Bayern Munich star.
However, the Bavarians have no interest in selling Davies at this moment. He still has two years left on his contract with the German champions which does give them an upper hand.
But if Davies decides not to hold talks over a renewal and pushes for an exit, it could open the door for a possible move from Real Madrid. Even then, Bayern Munich could hold for a steep asking price, but the Merengues could be willing to go the extra mile in their efforts to sign Davies.