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Courtois, Carvajal react after Man City 4-0 Real Madrid: “We lost to a great team”

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Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti’s side fell short by a sizeable margin to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in the second leg of the UCL semifinal. It was a forgettable outing for all players in white as they put up helpless faces throughout.

Thibaut Courtois was Real Madrid’s best player by far against Manchester City last night. The game may have ended 4-0 in the English team’s favour, but it could have been far worse if not for the Belgian.

The shot-stopper spoke to the press after his side’s elimination from the competition and did not hold back on criticising the mistakes Real Madrid made on the night that led to them falling short.

“They really pressed us high from the start, not letting us play the ball out and they pressured with a lot of players so we were penned back in our area. We dealt with it pretty well early on but we didn’t manage to impose ourselves, create chances or cause them any problems. They were very comfortable and they got the goal. We struggled to get into the game.”

There was barely any silver lining for Los Blancos at Etihad, but one moment when the game could have potentially turned was when Toni Kroos slapped a banger towards Ederson. The German’s shot sailed towards the goal with menace but struck the woodwork, and Courtois highlighted the same in his interview.

“If Kroos’ shot had gone in, perhaps it would have altered the course of the game. Their second goal came after an unfortunate rebound and those kind of things have gone against us this year. We started pretty well after half-time but we struggled to create chances today and we didn’t pass the ball cleanly.”

The 4-0 drubbing is a difficult pill to swallow for both the players and the manager. More than the defeat, it is the manner in which they went down that will haunt Real Madrid. Courtois gave his analysis of the game saying,

“We’ll have to watch it back because it’s not easy to see the game from the goal line. We took a while to make any fouls, the second balls all fell to them and we missed a lot of easy passes. Anyway, it’s not easy to hurt them if we spend the whole time chasing the ball.”

“We had to win the ball back more quickly and stream forward because they always had seven or eight guys in our half but we just didn’t manage to do it.”

Finally, the Belgian expressed his disappointment at the result and insisted that the manner of the defeat made a big difference in the dressing room.

“The way we lost is the worst thing. You can lose a game in extra time or on penalties, 2-1 or 1-0. That can hurt if you’ve given your all on the pitch. But it’s a very heavy defeat. We have to be proud of the way we’ve come this far.

“It’s tough to fall short just before the final, but we lost to a great team. In the English League, they are unstoppable. This wasn’t our best game and if we’re not at our best this happens.”

Dani Carvajal too started the game on Wednesday but had to endure a rough time against Jack Grealish. He praised Manchester City for their display and said they were the better team throughout.

“The opposition were better in this game from start to finish. They subdued us and that is reflected in the result. We were a little bit on the back foot early on. When the team took a step forward after the break, we had a good spell.”

The right-back took a moment to appreciate the support of the fans in the stadium and promised them better things to come. Speaking about the support, he said,

“I want to thank the fans for coming out. We’ll come back stronger and work very hard to get back to another final. This stadium is very difficult and they are strong at home. After the first leg, we thought we were going to play a better game on the ball.”

Despite being out of contention in La Liga now, Real Madrid still have four league games to play. Carvajal urged his teammates to fight back strong in the games to come and end the season on a high.

“There are still games left, we will try to finish as high as possible in the league and respect our opponents. On 4 June we will evaluate everything. It’s a shame not to be in another final.

“Our opponents were better and we have to congratulate them. We have to keep our heads up because there is still a lot to do and we have people who want to achieve great success.”

Source: Real Madrid website

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Real Madrid News

Spain midfielder credits Real Madrid assistant manager for career success

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Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Spain’s European Championship campaign so far has been one filled with revelations. From young Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams on the wings to the ever-so-solid midfield, La Roja have impressed across the park and have taken the tournament by storm.

One such player who has played a critical role for the team despite not being in many pundits’ squad for the tournament is Fabian Ruiz. The PSG midfielder has been sensational for Luis de la Fuente’s men so far, scoring once and providing one assist in two games.

Despite not having any direct links with Real Madrid, the Spanish midfielder interestingly credits Davide Ancelotti for his success and AS brings the story.

A chapter in Naples

Fabian Ruiz may have never played for Los Blancos in his career so far, but he crossed paths with the Ancelottis in Naples a few years ago.

Ruiz signed for the Italian club from Real Betis in 2018 for a fee of €30 million. At the time, he was not known widely and was just seen as another routine Spanish midfielder aspiring to make it big.

As revealed by the player in a recent interview, however, it was Carlo Ancelotti’s son and Real Madrid assistant manager Davide Ancelotti who first saw the spark in him.

“Meeting him was a very important step in my career. From the beginning, he backed me, and it was not easy to pay what Napoli paid for me, a player who had not played much in La Liga with Betis.”

“If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. I have a very good relationship and friendship with him,” he added.

Fabian Ruiz credits Davide Ancelotti for his success. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

A special eye

Ruiz’s comments on Davide Ancelotti only make it clearer as to why Carlo Ancelotti holds his son’s advice in high regard. It is, after all, a testament to the tactician’s keen eye for special talent.

As revealed earlier this year, it was the manager’s son who suggested Joselu’s substitution against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinals when the team was on the brink of elimination.

What happened next was history as the veteran scored twice within minutes to turn the game around and send the Bavarians crashing out.

Davide has been rumoured to be interested in walking his own path soon as a specialist coach, but as it stands, will continue working under his father for at least one more year at Real Madrid.

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