NEWS STORY. 12/04/2023
Carlo Ancelotti appeared in the press room at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium following Real Madrid's victory over Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final. The coach analysed the game: "We played a very well-rounded game. We suffered somewhat at the beginning but the objective was to get ahead and that's what we did. We'll have to suffer there because Chelsea have a very good team, with very good players, and we have another 90 minutes to endure. We are satisfied with the result and the performance".
"You might think we could have pressed more against 10, but when it was eleven against eleven we fought a lot and in the end I think we lacked energy and clarity. We have to come away satisfied but there's another 90 minutes to go. We have to repeat today's game at Stamford Bridge because we know Chelsea will give it their best shot next week."
The return leg
"I have a lot of energy. The team looked very good and I'm very happy. I'm very pleased, but we have to be calm and collected because there are 90 minutes left to play and anything can happen in football. We have to manage our lead there and try to repeat the game we played today."
Tonight's starting eleven
"I always look for the best for the team. There are games where we can create chances with three strikers and I think that Kroos helps a lot as a playmaker spreading the ball out wide and keeping possession. You might suffer more defensively, but if there is a collective commitment you don't suffer. It worked out well."
Praise for Valverde
“He was the best player on the pitch. He brought so much energy and he was very aware of his positioning. He managed the defensive side of things with Kroos really well and was brilliant at recovering the ball after the opening 10 minutes, when we made a few slight adjustments.”
“He never lets you down in the big games and much of the credit for the pressure we tried to employ high up came through him down the right-hand side on Chilwell.”
The centre-backs’ performance
“The guys at the back managed the space superbly. Carvajal and Camavinga pushed up and the centre-backs were left up against the two forwards, which they did really well. We’re looking good defensively and Camavinga is doing brilliantly in that position due to Mendy’s injury.”
Differences between Asensio and Rodrygo
“Rodrygo takes more risks because he’s more direct and he takes defenders on more often. Marco moves really nicely in the spaces between the lines and he has an unbelievable shot on him. I really appreciate him because he tends to score every game he plays, whether he plays from the start or comes off the bench. He’s decisive in any squad because he can change the game with his goals and assists.”