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Ancelotti: “These matches aren’t about quality, we played the way we had to play”

The coach’s thoughts on the win at Alcoyano.

FBL-ESP-CUP-ALCOYANO-REAL MADRID Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media after Real Madrid’s 3-1 win over Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey. The coach explained in his press conference that he knew this would be a difficult kind of game and that he is proud of the way his players came through it.

He said: “These kinds of matches aren’t about quality. I think it was a different kind of game than we’re used to, for many reasons. We worked a lot on aerial duels, long balls and set pieces for this game and we played the game that we needed to play. When they equalised with their great goal, we didn’t lose our heads. This was the way we had to play and we won it. If you don’t fight here, you lose. Like happened last year.”

Eden Hazard is one of the players Ancelotti thinks suffered because of the conditions of this game, on a poor pitch against a third-tier opponent. He said: “Players of quality suffer more in these types of matches. Hazard tried hard and played as a No.9 for a while. Everyone did what they could with their characteristics. But, he and Rodrygo and the players with that quality tend to suffer more in these kinds of matches. I think Hazard needs to have more confidence in one vs one, but little by little it’ll come back. He is better physically compared to a few months ago.”

Ancelotti on Lunin’s performance

Andriy Lunin made just his second Real Madrid performance, in the same stadium where he lost on his only other senior outing for the club. On the young goalkeeper, Ancelotti said: “Lunin did very well. He was secure, although there were some mistakes with his feet. But, I prefer goalkeepers who make saves. With passing, that can be fixed and he can improve with more matches. The Copa del Rey isn’t definitely all for Lunin, just like all the LaLiga matches aren’t definitely for Courtois.”

Ancelotti on Mariano’s injury

The coach was also asked for an update on Mariano, who went off injured at the very start of the second half. The Italian stated: “Mariano suffered an injury in his right leg. That can happen in this busy period.”