·3 February 2023
·3 February 2023
Real Madrid made easy work of Valencia on Thursday night, putting two goals past the visitors in a span of two minutes in the second half to secure an important victory.
The Merengues’ first-half display was far from encouraging, as they struggled to find a way past Giorgi Mamardashvili despite having two big chances. It was Marco Asensio who gave his side the lead at 52 minutes before Vinicius Jr added a second less than 100 seconds later.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media after his team’s win over Los Che, which helped them cut down the gap to Barcelona to five points, and talked about his mid-season review amongst other topics. Here are the snippets from his press conference.
On the overall game: “It was a good game. We are going through a good moment of form. The first half was weaker than the second, but that’s normal. In the second half, the opposition lowered their intensity and it suits us better. We had the game was under control.”
On the injuries: “The negative aspect was the injury situation. Militao’s is more serious than Karim’s, which seems lighter.”
On Eder Militao’s injury: “Militao won’t be available on Sunday and these are things that happen at this stage of the season.”
On the team’s improvement in defence: The improvement comes because the team is more solid, suffers less, and works harder at the back. Those are the keys to improvement.”
On his thoughts over the first half of the season: “We are in line with what we thought at the start of the season. The new players have been incorporated well and we have coped well with Karim’s absence in a number of games.”
On the title race: “We have one more point than last year and we have scored more goals. January could have been complicated because of the World Cup, but that’s over now. We’ve started February well and luckily we’re playing on Sunday at 2.00 pm against Mallorca rather than on Saturday night.”
On Toni Kroos’ substitution: “Kroos asked me to take him off because he had a strained abductor muscle. They are such good professionals that they ask me to change them.”
On the tactics in his substitutions: “If I sub a player it’s not because he’s not playing well but because I have resources on the bench. Sometimes I don’t bring Rodrygo on from the start because I think I have another option to change the game from the bench and change the dynamic of the game. This is what enabled us to win a Champions League from the bench.”
On the transition in midfield: “We’re currently managing this transition like this and it will stay like this until the end of the season. I want to play those behind Kroos and Modric more often, bearing in mind that both of them are crucial to this team.”
On Dani Ceballos: “He’s playing very well and everyone can see that. Ceballos and the club have to work out the contract renewal. Everyone knows what I think and I think that if Ceballos carries on like this he will be very important.”
On the left-back situation: “We have to look at it. Camavinga has surprised everyone by how well he can play in this position. He is really impressing me both in attacking and defensively. He’s linking up well with Vini Jr. Alaba is coming back on Sunday and he’s an option while Nacho is also doing very well.”
On Vinicius Jr: “He’s very impressive in terms of his fitness level. He struggles more in the first half because the opposition plays with a higher level of intensity. In the second half, he was able to carry the ball off the ball and get in behind them. It makes a difference.
“The full-backs are exhausted at the end of the game because they don’t stop. He is doing very well and I think he has room to improve. He’s playing at a very high level and he brings a lot to the team.”
On Gabriel Paulista’s red card: “It came from a moment of frustration and that can happen sometimes in football. He was frustrated because his team weren’t playing well. The tackle is a bit ugly, but I can understand it as an ex-footballer. I think it was a moment of frustration.”
Source: Real Madrid official website
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