Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti praised his side’s defending in a 2-0 home win on Tuesday against Inter Milan.
Los Blancos came into the match on a run of 10 wins in their last 11 matches in all competitions. Ancelotti’s side needed a draw to guarantee top spot against an Inter side, who had also already qualified for the next round. It was an encounter that boasted numerous chances but it was the home side who took their chances.
Madrid led through a Toni Kroos goal before Nicolo Barella was red carded for Inter after 64 minutes. Substitute Marco Asensio sealed the win 11 minutes from time. The victory was Ancelotti’s 100th in the Champions League as a coach.
Speaking to Marca, Ancelotti said: "We’re at a high level right now and we’re playing with greater defensive solidity."
"Sometimes we don’t press so high, we don’t want to defend an open game. Sometimes that isn’t so aesthetic, but we’re doing very well."
"We have the quality to win La Liga and the quality to compete in the Champions League. There are no teams with the quality to win the Champions League, only to compete. There are more intense teams, others with more quality."
"We’re not intense in the defensive aspect but we have a lot of quality, a lot of experience and a lot of commitment."
Ancelotti reserved special praise for veteran midfielder Luka Modric. The 36-year-old played the full 90 minutes against Inter.
He said: "Of course he has to rest, that’s to be expected. Now he’s got five days to relax and get ready for the next game."
"I think he rests up well at home and leads a quiet life. He’s a player who has that special something.
“We have three fantastic central midfielders and then Valverde and Camavinga are putting the pressure on behind them."
"If there comes a time when one of the three is tired, it’s not a problem because we’ll bring in another lad who will perform at the top level".
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has stated forward Karim Benzema may be fit for the huge clash against Atletico Madrid.
The Italian started with Serbian striker Luka Jovic against Inter in the injury absence of Benzema. The three-time Champions League winning coach was hopeful that the Frenchman would be fit to start in Sunday’s key La Liga match at home against city rivals, Atletico Madrid.
He said: " Jovic played very well and helped the team not only in attack but also in bringing the ball out."
"It was a good performance and while Karim is out, he will play. In any case, I expect Benzema to recover."
Benzema hobbled off against Real Sociedad on Saturday with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. The 33-year-old talisman has netted 17 goals in 20 appearances this season across La Liga and the Champions League.