Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media after a hard-fought 0-2 win and started by sharing what he asked his team to do at halftime:
I asked them to pressure with more intensity. We didn't do it well enough in the first half. Overall, we played a very good, complete game and deserved to win.
Luka Modric apparently left the game injured. Carlo delivered some good news:
No, he doesn't have any problems. It's clear that the game was very intense, especially the second half. In the end some players were a bit tired.
Did the Italian coach leave the pitch happy with his team's performance?:
I'm very happy. I'm really pleased with our second half. My players showed a great attitude and played really well. Physically, they were great and fought hard all-game long. I can't ask for more.
On choosing James instead of Isco:
Each game has its own story and its own lineup. I thought James could contribute more, so I chose him. But each game has a different lineup.
At the end of the game, Carlo was caught talking to the ref. What did he say to him?:
I told him it was incredible he didn't call a penalty on Ronaldo's play.
On Rayo Vallecano's style and how similar it can be to Atlético de Madrid's:
Both are very different teams. Rayo starts playing from behind, and that's why we tried to pressure up there. Things didn't work out during the first half, but they did in the second. We need to employ a different strategy since Atlético uses lots of deep balls to use the quality of their strikers to their advantage. Each game requires a different strategy.
On whether Ancelotti expected Rayo to eventually crumble thanks to Real Madrid's intensity, even if it didn't work in the first 45 minutes:
More than Rayo losing some intensity, we just improved a lot in the second half. The team was a lot tighter on the attack. We pressured a lot better and especially played well with the ball, which didn't work in the first half, where we were a bit anxious. The team was a lot calmer in the second half, and that translated into creating more chances.
Carlo on Rayo's Paco Jémez:
I think Rayo plays a great style of football, with a great attacking idea. That means the coach's work has been really good.
Finally, on Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema's condition:
Bale underwent some tests this morning and came out well. He has recovered well and played without problems. On Karim, I just wanted to add a fourth midfielder to defend a bit more relaxed.