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Ancelotti: “The substitutes changed the dynamic of the game”

Ancelotti praised all five of those who came off the bench.

Valencia v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Real Madrid produced an epic comeback away at Valencia to win 2-1 thanks to late goals from Vinícius and Karim Benzema. Although the Brazilian and Frenchman started the game, Carlo Ancelotti believes they were helped by the substitutes who were introduced.

Analysing the game, the coach said in his post-match press conference that: “In the first half we suffered when trying to bring the ball out from the back. We weren’t clean in that sense. We did have some counter attacks, but because we were deep. I think those who went on off the bench did very well. All of them. All five of them. They changed the dynamic of the game as we became more aggressive in attack. Sometimes the key is there with the five substitutions because I have a bench with a lot of quality. So, those who aren’t in the starting line-up need to realise that they can also be important in any given match.”

Ancelotti also praised his team’s mentality, saying: “We didn’t win because of quality. We won because of our spirit. We fought to the end and stayed fresh in our minds until the end. I have quite a young team and they’re doing very well. We still need to improve aspects, like the defensive side of things, but I think we’ll achieve this thanks to this spirit.”

Discussing the youngsters further, he urged them to continue approaching matches with the right mindset. The Italian said: “It’s important that they know that the technical quality isn’t enough in modern football. You need commitment, personality and motivation to add to your quality.”