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Ancelotti: “We were worried about this game, which is why I didn’t rotate too much”

The coach also heaped praise on Fede Valverde. 

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

Real Madrid turned in a very impressive performance against Elche, defeating the bottom-placed team 3-0 while also scoring three other goals that were ruled out for offside. Discussing the display, Carlo Ancelotti said: “We were worried about this game because it would have been easy to lower our level after El Clásico. So, I didn’t want to rotate too much. I wanted the team to be focused. Offensively, we were really good. But, it was an open game until the middle of the second half because there were so many offside goals. It could have been more difficult.”

Ancelotti on the backups

Asked about the players who are currently backups but want more minutes, the coach said: “We are doing well physically. Obviously there are more than 11 players who deserve to play. We even had Camavinga, Tchouaméni, Lucas and Asensio on the bench today. For example, Asensio came on and scored. He has always showed that he can play and he’ll have more minutes in the future. We’ll speak about his contract after the World Cup.”

Ancelotti on the fluid front three

There was a lot of interchanging of positions in the Real Madrid front three in this game. Discussing that, Ancelotti said: “We wanted Rodrygo to have flexibility, while Benzema moves a lot too. I think we had good balance to occupy all the attacking spaces well.”

Ancelotti on Valverde’s sixth goal

Ancelotti was reminded of the fact that he said earlier in the season that he wouldn’t deserve to keep coaching if he couldn’t get Fede Valverde to 10 goals for the season. The Uruguayan now has six, so the coach said: “I made a bet, but I think he’ll score more than 10 this season. If he scores four more then I get to keep my coaching license! He keeps surprising us. He does well on the wing or in midfield.”

Ancelotti on Lunin’s performance

Andriy Lunin turned in arguably his best performance so far for Real Madrid, but is about to go back to the bench. With Thibaut Courtois’ return imminent, Ancelotti said: “Lunin has fulfilled his role, improving every game. When Courtois isn’t available, he’ll play. But, of course, when Courtois comes back Lunin will be back on the bench.”

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