Real Madrid boss demands improvements despite Super Cup victory

Grant de Smidt
Carlo Ancelotti Real Madrid

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti stated his delight with his side’s counter-attacking but feels they could have defended better in Wednesday’s 3-2 win against Barcelona.

Los Blancos’ victory in the Supercopa de Espana semi-final in Saudi Arabia came in a topsy-turvy affair. Madrid led 1-0 and 2-1 through Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema but Barcelona twice struck back. An extra-time winner from substitute, Fede Valverde, proved the difference in a highly entertaining affair.

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Speaking to the club’s official website, Ancelotti said: “We were aware that it was going to be a very close encounter, and it turned out that way.

“We played well, particularly in the first half. In the second half we played very well on the counter-attack and in the end tiredness kicked in. It was an entertaining match and I think we put on a good show and gave a good account for Spanish football.

“Anyone could have won as two different styles of football came up against each other. They focused more on possession and we played on the counter-attack.

“We deserved to take the lead in the first half but the second half was more evenly matched and we found some quality moves on the counter and scored three fantastic goals.

“We defended well and attacked better, especially in the final third. But we could have defended better.”

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Modric wins Ancelotti praise 

After Wednesday’s 3-2 victory against Barcelona, Real Madrid’s coach, Carlo Ancelotti praised his veteran midfielder Luka Modric.

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Ancelotti said: “He’s got tremendous quality and it’s very difficult to put him under pressure, yet it was Valverde who scored the goal that took us to the final.

“We have to take evaluate things now. When Modric doesn’t play, we lose possession, but when Valverde plays for us, we gain verticality and attacking ability.”

Real Madrid will play in the final of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday in Riyadh. They will face the winner of Thursday’s other semi-final between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.

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