Post Match Viewpoints: Coach Carlo Ancelotti, Sporting Director Miguel Pardeza & Players Marcelo And Xabi Alonso Speak To The Press.

David Ramos

Carlo Ancelotti's opinion is that the team had played well in a high-intensity draw in a difficult away stadium and that he was, all things considered, satisfied with a draw.

Ancelotti was also full of praise for the goal-scorers on both teams. Noting that Jesé's goal gave Madrid greater control of the match in the second half, he remarked that Ibai Gómez's goal for the equalizer was brilliant since Madrid "gave up very few opportunities [to score]" to their opponents.

Overall the game was good, especially the second half. In the first half Athletic pressed hard, we had difficulty when in possession of the ball and played more on the counter. The second half was different. They played with less pressure and we had more possession.

He explained his substitutions as well, noting that they were not tactical substitutions and were made chiefly with a view to sparing players he believed would be fatigued playing the final minutes of the game with 10 men.

Carlo Ancelotti also defended Cristiano Ronaldo, deeming the sending off harsh and thought, though he admitted to having no clear view of the incident in real time, that footage showed the incident to have been exaggerated.

That view was backed up by Marcelo who called it "unfair" in his post-match interview. Xabi Alonso went further and claimed the referee's decision making was influenced by the crowd. It had been, he thought, "a beautiful game." And "as for the league, we look to ourselves and to our own results."

Finally Miguel Pardeza also commented on the match. He was sanguine, calling the match by no means a title-decider and also defending Cristiano Ronaldo. The sporting director also looked ahead, predicting a fascinating match in the Copa del Rey against Atletico Madrid this week. "The opponent has confidence," he said.

True enough. Fans certainly have a great deal to look forward to in both the league and the domestic cup over the next few weeks.

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