Real Madrid have taken a huge step towards the 2021/22 LaLiga Santander title, defeating Atlético Madrid 2-0 in Sunday’s derby. In the post-match press conference, Carlo Ancelotti explained that he is delighted with the way the team is performing.
He said: “I have a squad that allows me to be calm. They manage games very well and they’re committed defensively. It’s a team, with high-quality players. I really like what we’re doing defensively, as we’ve improved the most in this area. We’re not pressing that high, but we like that because with a low block we have more counter-attacking opportunities.”
This victory made it 10 wins in a row, although Ancelotti is wary of getting carried away given what happened after a record winning spree in the 2014/15 campaign. He stated: “We’re favourites right now, you can say that. But, we’re just focusing on the next matches. A mental drop-off can be costly, so we have to continue. When I was here before, we won 22 matches in a row in the second year, but the second half of the season didn’t go well. I don’t forget that. I’m happy now, but I know there could be slip-ups in the second half of the season. Maybe the previous experience can help me to avoid mistakes this time. We’ll look to be competitive in all the competitions we have.”
Ancelotti on Vinícius’ decision-making
Speaking about Vinícius’ improvement in the final third, Ancelotti dismissed the notion that he is responsible for the Brazilian’s growth. He explained: “I think he’s improving by himself. I don’t have to speak to him much. What I do tell him is to be efficient and not to dribble just for the sake of it. He has to do things to help the team. Today, he didn’t keep dribbling as he couldn’t win the one-on-ones against Marcos Llorente, but he still came up with two assists.”
Ancelotti on the ovation for Modrić
Luka Modrić was one of the standout performances in the derby and received an ovation when he was substituted off. On that, the Italian said: “He had an incredible and spectacular performance, with the ball and without the ball. He showed great personality and was extraordinary.”