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Real Madrid - Shakhtar Donetsk

Ancelotti: "We started well in both halves, but then dropped off a bit"

NEWS STORY. 03/11/2021

"I certainly know what the atmosphere is like here and when the fans encourage us to play better", said the coach.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke in the press room at the Santiago Bernabéu and analysed Real Madrid‘s win against Shakhtar Donetsk: "I certainly know what the atmosphere is like here and the fans demand to encourage us and play better. We started well in both halves, but then dropped off a bit and that can happen. It’s good that the fans wake us up with some whistles. It's okay, it helps us".
"At halftime I told them that when we scored the first goal we needed to wait a bit, but we had to be more aggressive and be more effective with the ball. We had possession, but weren’t doing them any damage".
Deep defensive block
"In the first half Shakhtar, looked for the ball in behind our defence and that's how they scored. With ten minutes to go having a deeper block meant we didn't have these problems and we also felt a bit of fatigue. If you press Shakhtar you can hurt them between the lines. That was our specific strategy for this game and against this team".
The side
"Everyone works hard in this team. Militão and Alaba have worked extremely well and everyone knows what kind of quality there is in the midfield. Vinicius Jr, Benzema and Courtois were outstanding, but Real Madrid is Real Madrid and not just these three, even if they have done better than the others in this period".

Hazard is ready to play. It could have been today or it could be on Saturday. He’s in need of game time to get him into the best shape and he'll get those minutes when his time comes. I thought that I could have brought him on, but in terms of our strategy, I preferred to bring a winger, like Lucas Vázquez, on to get some joy down the flanks”.
“I bought Nacho on to give us greater control down their left flank and because Carvajal was tiring. I also brought Benzema off because of a fitness issue. I’d expect them to be cross. I understand how a player who's been warming up for 40 minutes feels when they don't get on. Marcelo, who has won a few Champions League trophies, was warming up for 40 minutes and I'm sorry that he didn't get on, but today I decided just to make the two changes”.
Vinicius Jr.
“He's on a very good run, both in terms of goals and assists. Both goals were down to him:  the first one came about from his high press and the other was following link-up play with Casemiro and Benzema. He's in top form”.