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Monday 25. September 2023 - 12:22

Carlo Ancelotti takes blame after Real Madrid fall to Atletico

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has taken the blame for his side's disappointing 3-1 defeat to rivals Atletico in Sunday's Madrid derby.

Two goals from Alvaro Morata and a strike from Antoine Griezmann were enough to put Madrid to bed, with Toni Kroos' first-half effort proving little more than a consolation in a game in which Ancelotti's side dominated possession but failed to make it count.

After the game, Ancelotti was keen to keep the blame on himself, but the boss did admit his defenders had not done enough to stop Atletico.

Facing questions about his setup, Ancelotti told a press conference: "The formation has not changed, we came out with a diamond, as always. But we didn't start well, we didn't defend well. And when they went 2-0 up, they already played the game they wanted."

"[A lack of concentration] is something that we have talked about and will continue to talk about. Many times opponents go ahead against us early and only in some cases do we come back. Today we were close, but 3-1 settled everything. From that goal onwards, it's already too much. [The three goals] were photocopies against centre-backs who were not well placed in the area."

"I think I could have done better. Obviously when the team doesn't work, it's my responsibility. But I have a very strong mentality. No problem. Taking responsibility is the minimum. It's my fault."

Madrid enjoyed 64% possession and 20 shots on goal - twice as many as Atletico - but Ancelotti refused to blame his attackers and once again called out his defence.

"The fact that Atleti is one of the teams that best defends in Spain also makes a difference," he explained. "They are strong in duels, it is not easy to find spaces. There has been a lack of effectiveness from outside, but I maintain that today the problem was defensive, not offensive."

Ancelotti opted to bench striker Joselu in favour of naming five midfielders in his starting lineup, with many frustrated fans questioning the call.

"I wanted more ball control, that's why I started one more midfielder," he responded. "I think that the tactic was not the problem, but the defensive fragility. Something that had not happened to us in the first games, because until today we had only conceded three, but yes, today was a problem. We didn't defend as usual. We were not compact and they took advantage of it."

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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