clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ancelotti: “For me, Asensio was the man of the match”

The coach’s comments after securing first place in the group.

Real Madrid v Celtic FC: Group F - UEFA Champions League Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti was delighted with the way Real Madrid finished their Champions League group, explaining that he started a strong starting XI because he wanted a performance like this. After the 5-1 win over Celtic, he said in the press conference: “We started a strong team because we didn’t want to have any problems and we wanted to recover some momentum. Today, we may have conceded, but I don’t have any complaints from today. They had a freekick and took it well.”

Ancelotti on Asensio’s performance

Marco Asensio was excellent in this game and Ancelotti praised him afterwards: “For me, Asensio was the man of the match. He did well with Valverde and Carvajal. The three of them combined very well. Even when starting as a winger, he can come inside and make a difference in that space where he’d play if he were an attacking midfielder. He has always shown a good attitude, even when he hasn’t played. He could have responded positively or negatively, and he’s responded positively.”

Ancelotti on Modrić and Kroos

Two more players who were singled out for praise were the two veteran midfielders. Ancelotti said: “You might be surprised sometimes by the young players, but Luka Modrić and Toni Kroos never surprise you. They have such experience. They’re both doing very well.”

Ancelotti on other players stepping up

Discussing the forwards who have done so well during the matches without Benzema, namely Rodrygo, Vinícius and Valverde, the Italian said: “We’ve done well when we’ve played without Karim, who was the star of last season. Other players have had more responsibility in this period. The other players have shown a lot of confidence now, especially Valverde, who has changed a lot since last year. Vinícius is also doing better without the ball and finding better positions. They’re all playing well, but can still improve in some aspects.”

Ancelotti on Tchouaméni and Benzema

Asked for a fitness update on Aurélien Tchouaméni and Karim Benzema, Ancelotti explained that both should be available and felling good in time for the Monday visit to Rayo Vallecano, with the latter having already come on for the end of this game. He said: “With Tchouaméni, it’s a muscular injury, although I can’t remember which leg. I think he’ll be back on Monday, though. Benzema did well in today’s game and he’ll be even more ready for Monday too.”

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Managing Madrid Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Real Madrid news from Managing Madrid