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Ancelotti: “We were still on our Christmas holiday today”

The coach reacted to the disappointing start to 2022.

Getafe CF v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid started 2022 in the worst possible way, dropping three points away at Getafe as they fell to a 1-0 defeat. For Carlo Ancelotti, the players weren’t sharp enough and played as if they were still on holiday.

Analysing the game as a whole, he said: “We reacted well for the first 10 minutes after conceding, but then we got nervous and lost some duels. There’s not much to say about this match. We stayed on holiday for an extra day. It can be difficult after the Christmas break, but we don’t want excuses. We didn’t play well. It’s not a criticism or drama. Yesterday, the players looked sharp. But, today they weren’t. This wasn’t the team that we saw before Christmas. It was a different team, with less concentration and less commitment. I don’t think we deserved to lose and I think a draw would have been fair, but maybe this loss can be a wake-up call because we were still on holiday today.”

It was an individual mistake from Éder Militão that led to Getafe’s goal, but Ancelotti doesn’t want to single out any player for this defeat. Asked if he would pick out individuals who were at fault, he replied: “No, absolutely not. There were some who didn’t have a good match, but I’m not singling out anyone. For example, Benzema didn’t have a great game. But, you can’t single out Benzema.”

Ancelotti on the refereeing

The Italian was also quick to dismiss the idea that referee Mario Melero Lopéz had an impact on the final result. He said: “No, absolutely not. I did get annoyed a little in the first half because I thought they could have been shown more yellow cards than us, with Rodrygo and myself each being booked in that first half.”

Ancelotti on Hazard not starting

Eden Hazard only came on at half time and Ancelotti explained why he opted for Rodrygo and Marco Asensio from the off. He explained: “There were small details behind starting Asensio and Rodrygo. I knew they wouldn’t last 90 minutes and that Hazard would come on for the second half extra fresh. He and Marcelo tried hard, without finding many opportunities.”

Ancelotti on Marcelo vs a low block

One of the interesting questions to come out of the Cádiz draw and this Getafe defeat is the idea of Marcelo starting over Ferland Mendy against teams who defend deep. Asked if starting Mendy played into Getafe’s hands, Ancelotti replied, after thinking about the question for a moment: “I don’t know. When it’s a tough game, Marcelo can definitely give you something more in attack. That’s why he played the second half.”

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