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Friday 19. January 2024 - 09:10

Ancelotti reacts after Atletico Madrid 4-2 Real Madrid: “We had a disadvantage

Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey campaign came to a shocking end on Thursday night as they faced a second consecutive defeat at the Civitas Metropolitano this season.

Going up against Atletico Madrid, they always had their work cut out for them but simply could not turn up on the night.

The initiative on the night was always with Diego Simeone’s side, with Real Madrid only chasing them and trying to cut the deficit. They took the game to extra-time, but Antoine Griezmann’s golazo and Rodrigo Riquelme’s finish sealed the deal.

Speaking to the media after his team’s defeat in the derby, Carlo Ancelotti backed his players and commended them for fighting till the very end. He began by reviewing the game that unfolded at Civitas Metropolitano and how his men pushed relentlessly for a win.

"It is not easy to evaluate this match. We have played well, we have competed until the end, we have fought and recovered from the disadvantage twice. There have been many opportunities, two crossbars and a goal annulled."

"We lost the game when we risked unnecessary plays, we lost the ball easily and were punished. I’m left with the feeling that it’s been a very good game on our part. We have to think about recovering well and trying to win on Sunday," he said in retrospection.

The manager commended Atletico Madrid for their resilient fight that saw them go ahead despite endless setbacks before eventually scoring two goals in extra time to take the game away from Real Madrid.

"Atlético, like us, has made a tremendous effort. No one deserved to lose. We have lost, but we have to look ahead. We have given everything, I have nothing to reproach. As in all derbies, there are fights, but in the end, it has been a correct match."

Concurrently, however, Ancelotti brought up the fact that Los Rojiblancos had longer to recover and prepare for the game after an early elimination in the Spanish Super Cup.

"We had a disadvantage with Atlético because they had a week to prepare for the game and on a physical level they had a little more. But we have competed until 120' and it didn’t seem like we were tired. Now we have two weeks to work well and improve our condition."

The media then asked the manager to highlight where it all went wrong for his side against their local rivals, but Ancelotti refused to point fingers after the defeat.

"I don’t want to do individual analyses here. We could have handled the situation better when the scores were level, we didn’t need to force the plays too much and we did it. It has been a sin of youth and the key has been this."

Real Madrid boast of a stunning defensive record in La Liga, but the same form has not carried into the Copa del Rey.

"We are very solid in the League and less in the Cups. Atlético has dangerous players who score many goals, especially in the Metropolitano. Yes, we have fit in, but we have also marked many of them, which is not so simple," Ancelotti said when asked about the same.

Speaking about Vinicius Jr who had a subpar game with two big chances missed and less than a 50% completion rate on dribbles, the coach said,

"He has had more difficulty in the first half, but in the second he has been decisive in recovering the match. He has given the assist for the second goal and has been a constant danger."

"His match has been of a very good level, even if he has not scored. Little by little he will learn. It has been a very competitive game where it has had many duels and you are not always able to have a cool head," he added.

"I think it’s quite understandable. For me, he has played his game, he has had his chances and he has fought," he concluded.

Atletico Madrid dominated the game as it went deeper into the night owing to a superior physical presence and press. The manager, however, refuted the fact that his team were inferior in duels, saying,

"In extra time the game was controlled, we have conceded with a lost ball and a fantastic play by Griezmann. It didn’t seem to me that the team lowered the level. Nacho and Camavinga were tired and I’ve put two fresh players."

Finally, Ancelotti commended the team’s young core for pushing for a win even when not necessary and keeping up with the spirit of the team despite it not coming to fruition last night.

"We have young people with extraordinary quality and who try it. The fact of trying has allowed us to win many games and recover today’s. There are moments in the games where forcing the play is not necessary."

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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