Ancelotti: “It wasn’t that complicated to do better than against Leipzig” | Soccer | Sports

Madrid’s first two goals were illustrative of the suffering moment the team is going through. They maintained the advantage, tore another page off the calendar and even scored a win for the record, but it was difficult for them. The two resounding headers from Rüdiger that triggered the initial goals did not go in directly, as in the whites’ best streaks, but instead required two subsequent attempts by Vinicius at 1-0 and the ball bouncing off the back of goalkeeper Vicente Guaita for 2-0. “We made it. With 10 games left, we can’t go down now,” asked Carlo Ancelotti, who was coming off two draws. “Here the tie is the prelude to the crisis,” he warned.


Andriy Lunin, Ferland Mendy, Nacho, Rüdiger, Lucas Vázquez, Brahim Diaz (Aurelien Tchouameni, min. 82), Federico Valverde, Modric (Kroos, min. 82), Camavinga (Dani Ceballos, min. 88), Vinicius Junior (Arda Guler, min. 88) and Rodrygo (Joselu, min. 73)



Guaita, Manu Sánchez (Franco Cervi, min. 60), Unai Núñez, Óscar Mingueza (Hugo Sotelo, min. 76), Manquillo, Carl Starfelt, Fran Beltrán (Carlos Domínguez, min. 77), Jonathan Bamba (Tadeo Allende, min. . 60), Luca De La Torre, Jorgen Strand Larsen (Anastasios Douvikas, min. 82) and Aspas

Goals 1-0 min. 20: Vinicius Junior. 2-0 min. 79: Guaita (pp). 3-0 min. 87: Carlos Domínguez (pp). 4-0 min. 93: Arda Guler.

Referee Mario Melero López

Yellow cards Luca De La Torre (min. 24), Camavinga (min. 46), Óscar Mingueza (min. 54) and Manquillo (min. 81)

The afternoon had all the air of another discounted league day for Madrid, which maintains a seven-point lead over Girona and eight points ahead of Barcelona. “It wasn’t that complicated to do better than Wednesday. We improved in attitude, intensity, ball circulation and pressure,” commented the Italian, who is still stung by the bad time in the Champions League.

Twenty-five shots from Madrid, 13 of them on goal, 11 saves from Guaita (his best record in the League), Güler’s scoring debut, acclaim from the stands for Modric and a spectacular result that, however, hid an afternoon with a lot than rowing for the whites. “When the second doesn’t come, there is always concern,” Ancelotti admitted. Madrid has accumulated 22 games without losing in the League, the best number since the 23 they added in 2011-12, under José Mourinho. Although still eight away from its historical record, in 1989.

Ancelotti had recalled in the preview the famous statement by John Benjamin Toshack, when the Welshman (after a bad result) said that at the beginning of the week he thought about changing everyone, and then he arrived on Friday and played “with the same bastards.” from last week”. This was not the case of the Italian, who rotated with respect to the horrible match against Leipzig, but without any revolution. Three technical changes that were foreseeable (Lucas Vázquez for Carvajal, Modric for Kroos and Rodrygo for Tchouameni) plus the one required by Bellingham’s two-game ban (Brahim replaced him).

Vini, another goal and another push

But reaching the last 10 minutes, the only thing that mattered was Vinicius’ goal, again under the magnifying glass. With that goal, Madrid’s last four had been theirs. And three of them in pure center forward positions, in goal-hunting tasks. There was also another helping of the other Vini, who gave another push, this time to Mingueza at the beginning of the second half. The Celta player grabbed him by the shirt in a clear yellow action, and the Madrid player stirred and pushed him. Another yellow. “What we talked about with Vinicius stays between us. We have talked about it and we will continue to do it, not only with him,” said Carletto, who in the previous had made an unmitigated defense of the Brazilian (“I have not found a persecuted player like Vinicius,” he proclaimed) and who in the post avoided stopping. in the pushing episode.

At the moment, in a period of Bellingham’s scoring slowdown and Rodrygo’s stoppage, he continues to add. Since his explosion in 2021-22, no player in the League has participated in so many goals taking into account all competitions: 102 (61 goals and 41 assists), according to Opta. “He’s the best,” I whispered in his ear,” Ancelotti commented. “Then I went to Rüdiger and I also told him that he is the best,” he added relaxedly.

Everything was the opposite of Rafa Benítez’s twisted gesture, received with indifference by the Bernabéu in his first match in charge of a visiting team since he did so with Liverpool in 2009. The Celta coach repeated himself in a harsh manner. Almost every question, the same answer: “If in the 79th minute we are 1-0, whether it is fair or not, in the 90th we should not lose 4-0 with three avoidable goals. “It’s what we have to learn and it’s hard for us,” insisted Benítez, who leaves this day with the gloomiest outlook after Cádiz’s victory, which he only leads by two points.

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