What did Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti say after his team’s LaLiga victory over Real Sociedad?
The Italian discussed Jude Bellingham, Rodrygo, Joselu, Fede Valverde, tactics and more after Los Blancos leapfrogged Barcelona at the top.
Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media after his team came from behind to defeat Real Sociedad, with second-half goals from Fede Valverde and Joselu overturning Ander Barrenetxea’s early strike for the Basque side. Los Blancos have now won their first five LaLiga games, a record which leaves them two points clear of Barcelona at the top of the table. The Italian, however, is keen for his team to stop conceding early goals, which they have done in three different matches already this term.
Ancelotti praises Los Blancos’ commitment and energy
What did you think of your team’s performance?
We need to assess it properly, but we’ve now conceded goals early on in three out of our five games. We managed to come back to win, but we have to stop this from happening. It makes it hard for to get into the game, and you have to make more of an effort. Real Sociedad play really well, and it was a challenge for us. But we managed to do it thanks to the commitment and energy shown by the group; that has been a constant in all our games. Our opponents finds it hard to keep us at bay for the full 90 minutes.
Why did you substitute Joselu immediately after he scored and what do you expect from him?
He’s a player who plays well with his back to the goal, as well as facing it. He’s a threat in the opposition penalty area and is a very good header of the ball. We know what he can offer us in these games. The substitution was about getting more energy in midfield. We doubted ourselves a bit after he scored, but we wanted fresh legs to help protect our lead. He has an important role in the squad; in some games, he’s very important because of his presence in the opposition penalty area. It’s no coincidence that he has scored two goals. At home, when we put more crosses into the box, he can score more. He gives us something we didn’t have in previous years.
Jude Bellingham failed to score for Real Madrid for the first time
Do you think Jude Bellingham looked a bit tired?
Bellingham never stopped. He didn’t get into their penalty area as much, but he played well and attacked a lot. When La Real played with a high defensive line, it was more difficult to break into their box
Were you concerned with the first-half performance?
The first half wasn’t bad; we tried to press high, and La Real play with a high defensive line, so we had to attack more directly. The goal we conceded goal was something we thought could happen, they often try to do that with Kubo. It was something we had under control, we had discussed it, but sometimes your opponents have enough quality to execute it. The second half wasn’t that different.
Fran Garcia excelled with two assists.
He had a tough time because Kubo played very well. In the first half, he attacked well, but we wanted him to get in behind more, and he provided two fantastic assists that allowed us to win the game.
Rodrygo and Fede Valverde “affected” by international break
Do you expect more from Rodrygo?
I liked the positions he took up between the lines. He and Valverde were the two players most affected by the international break. Recovering from such a long trip is not easy. He didn’t score, but it’s not a big deal.
Real Madrid ended up defending deep.
We dropped back because we had a lead to defend, and I switched to a 4-5-1 because we didn’t need to press high. Instead, we needed to defend well. There will be games where we don’t mind playing in a low block and playing on the counter. We’ll do it when it’s necessary. After the 70th minute, the game was about defending our lead and playing on the counter.
How important are Valverde’s goals?
They are very important. We have many options in that regard. We know we need to avoid conceding early goals and falling behind early on.
Carvajal has a more attacking role than before.
With this system, it’s clear that the full-backs provide us with width. Carvajal is much further forward when we have the ball, we need that width.