Carlo Ancelotti post-game press conference after Real Madrid’s Champions League win over Union Berlin
The Italian coach spoke after Jude Bellingham’s late strike gave Real Madrid all three points in their Champions League opener.
Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press after Jude Bellingham scored the winner for Real Madrid against Union Berlin in the first game of their group stage in the UEFA Champions League. Here is what he had to say:
His thoughts on the game and if Tchouaméni has a goals target: I haven’t given anyone a goals target. The game was expected to be like this, complicated, with a lot of control against a low block that defended well. They didn’t leave us any spaces. We were good in the recovery of the ball, and on set-pieces. We could have scored before. But the fact of scoring at the end is importnat. It’s the spirit of this shirt. A draw and I’d have said the same, because the team showed up right until the end.
What is special about Bellingham? : He has quality. That’s very important. It seems like he’s lucky, because the goal is similar to the one against Getafe, but he was there. He almost always arrives late and he is more intelligent that others.
The team picked up in the second half... We fixed some things at the break. The truth is simple: in the second half we played against a team that pressed less. In the second half the energy levels drop a little and we had more space and more chances. The good thing is that today we didn’t have to come back from behind. It means we were more focussed. The counter-press was very good and our dead ball situations. They are strong on dead balls and with second balls.
What’s lacking with Rodrygo? : For him, these games are more complicated. He’s very good on an open pitch and here the spaces are smaller. He didn’t have a chance to play with an open pitch. He was unlucky today, because he could have scored two or three.
What do you think about the run of wins? : I think we have a competitive squad and that we can compete in all the competitions.
Not having Vinicus: Vini is among the best attackers in the world. He makes the difference. We need him. Joselu did really well, he could have scored again. Vini will be back next Wednesday, let’s see if he’s there for Sunday.
Convincing his team: The idea is to be patient, but not too much. These games are like this. It’s a game that can fool you. I remember the game against Sheriff, when we lost at home, it was that type of game. It’s a plus, Rüdiger had a fantastic game.
Joselu’s impact: It’s obvious that he makes our aerial game better. It’s not just him, Bellingham is very important. In the first minutes he has a header, then against the post... we have dangerous players on set pieces.
The generational change: It’s not something that’s complicated - it’s good. If you have midfielders that are all good, I can’t have one of them on the bench for four or five games in a row. They can all help out, it doesn’t matter when. It’s not easy for a player to understand that they’re not going to play, but it is for them to understand they’ll have a role to play in the second half.
Tchouaméni thinks Real Madrid are favourites: It doesn’t do anything to say we’re favourites. It doesn’t make sense. You have to fight in every game.
Brahim’s role: He has been an impactful player this season. Every time he has played he has helped us and the idea is to give him more minutes.