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Ancelotti: “We played a very good second half and put as much energy as we could into it"

NEWS STORY. 26/01/2023. Alberto Navarro

"A piece of individual quality allowed us to draw level and the crowd's getting behind us, put us on the right track for extra time", said the coach.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media in the press room at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium following Real Madrid's win in the derby and their qualification for the cup semi-finals: "The most important factor is that everyone was more committed. We've been helped a lot by the bench and at this stage of the season we need everyone on the bench to be able to contribute. We have too many games. It was a very tough and competitive game today against a very strong team. They were better in the first half and our second half was very good and we put in as much effort as we could. A bit of individual quality saw us to level things up and our fans' support put us right on track during extra time".

"I was very angry at half-time against Villarreal, not today. We didn't play well in the first half, but we had the tools to get better. I changed Luka's position by putting him higher up, but rather than a tactical change it was a mental change after the break. The changes brought more energy and quality up top. It's very difficult to explain how a team can play so badly in the first half and so well in the second. It's difficult to explain".
Praise for Vini Jr.
"He put in a good performance. He was really looking forward to playing in front of his fans. He played well, working hard until the end. His goal was a reward for a lot of hard work and what happened before the game was regrettable, but he was focused on the game".

Rodrygo’s stunner
"He had some discomfort in his Achilies tendon so I brought him off. His goal was fantastic, that’s the quality he has. He makes difficult things look very easy. He’s a hugely important player for us”.

Referee’s performance
"I don’t remember the Ceballos incident but I thought Savic’s was a clear sending-off. Atlético played very well and a bit different to what we’re used to seeing. They used the ball really well in the first half and it’s normal for them to be frustrated at losing a game when they’ve played so well”.

Tough schedule 
“It’s too much, there are too many games but it is what it is and we have to deal with it as well as we possibly can. It doesn’t allow you to get players back to 100% and it leads to injuries. We’ll have to look to the academy. Mario Martín played today, he’s a young lad with potential and there are others who can help out and do a good job too”.

Modrić’s form
"Leaving Kroos and Modrić on the bench isn’t easy but it’s also hard to have guys like Ceballos and Asensio there when they’re playing so well. It’s a transition but it’s complicated with players of this level".

Ceballos’ contract renewal
"I’m not going to go into that. The club know exactly how I feel about it. He’s contributing a lot”.