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REAL MADRID

Carlo Ancelotti Girona post-match quotes: Vinicius, Jude Bellingham injury, LaLiga title race

The Italian spoke after his side destroyed Girona 4-0, putting themselves 5 points clear in the race for the LaLiga title.

Update:
The Italian spoke after his side destroyed Girona 4-0, putting themselves 5 points clear in the race for the LaLiga title.
DANI SANCHEZDiarioAS

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti sat down in front of the press after his side defeated title challengers Girona at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. With the win, Los Blancos went 5 points clear at the top of the LaLiga standings.

You must be proud of Madrid’s fantastic win: “Very happy. We played the game at a very high level. We were very humble at the back; we had a very high defensive commitment. It allowed us to defend well, win balls back and take advantage of the quality we have in front of us.”

What did Madrid do well to score four goals against Girona and keep a clean sheet? “I think we managed the game well. In defence, we played with a fairly low block to avoid problems at the back, considering the emergency [injury situation] we had. And then, we took advantage of good ball control in the opponent’s half, we used verticality to make transitions. I think we played well”.

Not a single shot on goal conceded, how do you rate Carvajal and Tchouaméni’s performance together? “Good. The two centre-backs played very well and were helped by the full-backs. The defensive work of the three midfielders was also important and the front three also worked very hard. The defensive commitment was key to keeping a clean sheet in the match”.

How is Bellingham’s injury? “He has a sprained ankle. We will assess it tomorrow.

Would it be difficult to cover Bellingham’s absence? When he hasn’t been there, Brahim and Joselu have done well. That’s a strength of this team.

How do you rate Vinicius’ current form? He is a top player. When he plays this way and with this attitude, he is the best in the world, in my opinion.

Kroos was more of a pivot, almost a central defender at times. Did it cross your mind to put him as a pivot in the derby? Against Atlético we didn’t have tall centre backs. But now we do with Tchouaméni. He didn’t need a pivot in terms of aerial support. Camavinga is better as a midfelder in this match.

Bellingham came off in the second half after suffering an ankle injury.
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Bellingham came off in the second half after suffering an ankle injury.JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELADiarioAS

How is Rüdiger after his injury diagnosis? It’s from the Getafe game. It’s been tough for him to overcome the bruising. Yesterday he tried but in a normal running session, in changes of direction bothered him. We preferred not to risk it. Nacho will be back on Tuesday. Today we broke the world record for injuries in central defenders.

Is the title race over? It’s a big result for LaLiga. Girona had never lost away from home. We are well positioned. We have done very well. It will give us energy for the Champions League.

People compare Zidane to Bellingham... He reminds me of him in terms of quality, although Zidane had a higher level of quality, Bellingham gets in and around the goal. Very few players can make the movement he did for his first goal.

Is the league in the bag? We have the advantage. We are one win and one draw in front. It is small.

What do you mean when you say that ‘being humble’ has been key? I meant that it’s not hard to run without the ball. Sometimes it is tough to give more. The sacrifice from the side was completely on show today.

Vinicius, Bellingham, Rodrygo? What would you call this trident? I don’t know, I don’t have much imagination. I hope you look for it (laughs).

Vinicius if he is the best... who is the second and the third? Bellingham [second] and the third is Rodrygo. Four, Kroos... Being on the Madrid bench today was very comfortable.

What about Mbappé? That player belongs to another team (laughs).

As for Carvajal, how do you get that performance as a central defender? I asked him which side of defence he preferred and he said he didn’t care. Tchouaméni said he preferred the left. He looked like he had played his 400 games at centere-back. You can’t teach him anything, he has everything. We had our young central defenders injured. Marvel, Carrillo... I called up Jacobo, but he is a youth player. Before that I have to look at my team, and there were players to play as central defenders: Tchouaméni and Carvajal.