Carlo Ancelotti & Xabi Alonso: A Solid Three Points

Denis Doyle

After a less than commanding performance, Ancelotti singled out his defence as the reason Madrid left La Rosaleda with 3 points.

Carlo Ancelotti: "It's not easy to win here, but we did. In terms of play this was not a very good match, but it was an important win and the attitude the player showed was impeccable."

The coach was also generous to a Málaga that found itself gutted of players (and coach) this past summer but was nearly a match for Madrid: "They played very well."

On Isco: "He played well on the left, he balanced the team and was able to create. When Karim Benzema was injured he moved and had no problems playing in a new position."

On Benzema: "He had a knock and couldn't carry on. This affected our ability to create chances."

And on The Clasico: This team is playing well at the moment. The defence was very good. I think we are ready to play this game.

Xabi Alonso was of the same opinion as his coach.

We found it hard against Málaga because they squeezed us in the second half and we struggled to move up the pitch with the ball. They played well and pressured us. They worked well together while we lacked passing accuracy both in terms of link up play and the final ball. Because of that they were able to get hold of possession and push us back. When the team isn't playing well we all suffer, it's not a question of making adjustments for one player in particular.

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