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Shakhtar Donetsk - Real Madrid

Ancelotti: "We never give up and it's not easy to beat Madrid"

NEWS STORY. 11/10/2022

"Progressing to the last 16 is a positive for us because only the teams that advance to the round of 16 can ultimately win the Champions League," he added. 

Carlo Ancelotti took to the media room at the Legia Warszawa Stadium to reflect on his side’s draw against Shakhtar Donetsk: “We're in good shape at this stage of the season. We're in the last 16 of the Champions League and we've done our job and showed that we never give up. We put in a very poor performance here and these things happen in football, but the important thing is not to give up when things don't go your way. We kept going until the end.”

“We played poorly and these things sometimes happen. We had the game under control in the first half and we had planned to play more down the middle than the outside. Everything became more of an uphill struggle for us after we conceded the goal and we lost our balance and began to suffer with their counter-attacks. It's quite difficult to explain. Sometimes you can be in control of games, but you concede and mentally the opposition, who defended very well, start to pose you problems. The positive thing is that we never give up and it's not easy to beat Madrid. It's a positive achievement for us to progress to the last 16 because only the teams that advance to the round of 16 can ultimately win the Champions League.”

Second-half display
“We changed the way we applied our press compared to the first half and they exploited spaces alongside Valverde and Rodrygo. It was disappointing to concede right at the start of the second half because that makes the game so much more difficult.”

"He’s got a cut on his forehead. He’s recovering and he’s ok mentally. He was laughing and he’s happy because he scored an important goal”

Kroos’ performance
“It’s up to him if he wants to stay and finish his career here. He’s been one of the best, just like Rüdiger. We played in a lot of crosses in the final minutes and we need height up there. He and 
Militão are the best we have for heading in crosses".

“I made the changes to freshen up the team. He had difficulty, just like Karim did. The opposition’s set-up was very compact and there were no gaps between the lines. He did a good job and changing the five players was planned in advance”. 

El Clásico
“When you play on Wednesday and then on Sunday you have loads of time to recover properly. I made the changes to avoid problems. The problem was that we were playing today after a game on Saturday night and we also had a long trip. That was the reason for the rotations and not because we were thinking about El Clásico. Maybe those who didn’t play today won’t play in El Clásico either".