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Carlo Ancelotti: "Gareth Bale Played A Good Game."

Officiating errors aside, Madrid's coach was a contented man during his post-match press conference.

Ancelotti reacts to events on the pitch during el clasico
Ancelotti reacts to events on the pitch during el clasico
David Ramos

Carlo Ancelotti analyzed his formation for the journalists present.

Sergio Ramos, he said, was a decision taken last-minute in consultation with the player. He was played in midfield for balance, and in the wake of a minor niggle to Illarramendi midweek against Juventus in the Champions League.

On Gareth Bale the coach was supportive in the face of criticism. He had "contributed to the team" and "played well" though his combination play and passing needed some work, particularly when the team breaks.

The coach denied the widely held opinion that his formation was defensive. In his comments he claimed Luka Modric was "not defensive" and Marcelo and Carvajal were singled out as "attacking players" in this formation (in addition, of course, to Angel di Maria, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo).

After his press conference, reports focused on Ancelotti's comments on the officiating. That is understandable enough, but the coach didn't really dwell on it either. "The whole world could see that it was a penalty, except for the referee." On Adriano's hand-ball he was non-committal. It could have gone either way. As for commenting on the penalty that wasn't given, Ancelotti defended his right to mention it, noting he was in line with the foul. Otherwise, he said, he wouldn't have commented on it.

The coach was keen to stress, above all, that he felt his team had played a very good and solid second half and that they were dominant in that portion of the game. He felt his team could take away positive from this performance and use it to build on since he considered it an improvement on past recent performances.

Finally he expressed his excitement at having coached his first clasico. The atmosphere, he claimed, was fantastic.

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