Carlo Ancelotti explained his tactics following Real Madrid’s 2-1 defeat to Sheriff Tiraspol, going into detail about some of the decisions that may have confused Real Madrid fans. The Italian said that the starting line-up was a 4-4-2, even though it didn’t always look that way, and that he moved Eduardo Camavinga to left-back in the second half because the Frenchman had played on the left wing earlier in his career.
Explaining his decisions, the Italian said: “We played 4-4-2 today. We had Vinícius on the left and then Valverde and Hazard and Nacho interchanging on the right. We didn’t play 4-3-3 because we often play a 4-4-2 with Hazard. I think Camavinga is used to playing there [at left-back] as he played there a lot when he was younger. We had control of the match at that point so we could have Valverde pushing forward from full-back and we had Rodrygo playing freely and then two strikers. I also changed the two central midfielders to add more freshness. The match was under control in the second half. I don’t think we lost because I put Camavinga at left-back. We lost because of a bit of bad luck and fine margins. That could be a good lesson for the future, that we’ve lost this one when we didn’t deserve to.”
Expanding on the fine margins that he believes cost Real Madrid a positive result, Ancelotti said: “More than worried, we’re sad. I think the team played with a lot of intensity and commitment, but there were fine margins. Usually the fine margins don’t cost you a game, but sometimes they do. We had may chances and we could have been more clinical in the final third. It’s hard to explain this defeat.”
Ancelotti also gave his version of why he was shown a yellow card during the match. He stated: “It was something with the fourth official because he told me ‘you have to show me respect’ and I replied by saying ‘I’ve had 130 Champions League matches and it’s the first time a youngster like you books me for nothing’. He said I’d stepped on the pitch, but it was when they were looking at VAR. I told the referee and the delegate too. But, I don’t want to talk about the refereeing.”