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Ancelotti: “Rüdiger is conscious, speaking and smiling”

The coach also explained his substitutions.

Shakhtar Donetsk v Real Madrid: Group F - UEFA Champions League Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

Real Madrid are into the next round of the Champions League and Carlo Ancelotti addressed the media after the 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk. Although he is happy to go through, he is frustrated with this performance, stating: “We played really poorly tonight, but that can happen in football. The match was quite well controlled in the first half. We played more through the middle than out wide. Then, conceding right at the start of the second half made things more difficult for us, and we also suffered on their counter attacks. They found some space on Valverde and Rodrygo’s side. The important thing is to never give up when things don’t go your way and to compete until the end. I’m happy to reach the last 16 because only the teams that qualify for the last 16 can win the Champions League.”

Ancelotti on Rüdiger

Discussing Rüdiger’s performance and his status following the bloody injury he suffered while scoring, Ancelotti said: “Rüdiger has a cut on his face, but he is conscious and speaking and smiling. It was an important goal. We put Rüdiger up there for the final five minutes because we were putting in many crosses and he, along with Militão, is our best header of the ball.”

Ancelotti on Hazard’s performance and the substitutions

The coach was asked about Eden Hazard’s performance and if the Belgian was taken off because he wasn’t happy with the display. Ancelotti dismissed that suggestion, replying: “I made the changes to add freshness. Hazard and Benzema both struggled because they played very deep. There weren’t many spaces there. But, there was always the idea of changing many players on the hour mark. The substitutions weren’t to keep players fresh for Sunday, it was more so because some might still be tired from last Saturday’s game and we didn’t want risks. Some of those who didn’t start tonight might also not start El Clásico.”

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