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Ancelotti: “I don’t see any negatives”

The coach hit back at the criticism in his post-match press conference.

Rayo Vallecano v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Real Madrid earned a hard-fought 1-0 win at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday afternoon, yet Carlo Ancelotti fielded many questions in his post-match press conference that included criticisms of the performance. He was positive, though, stating: “Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see any negatives. I’m very happy. To say we won because of Courtois is wrong. We won because we were better. I’m happy with the commitment shown here at this difficult stadium, where few teams have won all season. This match had to be the way it was. We tried to press higher in this game and we’ll keep working on that.”

He had said before the game that this was a final and mentioned that again afterwards, saying: “Maybe it was like a final because Real Madrid usually win finals.”

Ancelotti on Vinícius’ performance

Vinícius didn’t score, but Ancelotti was very impressed with the Brazilian and his assist. On the youngster, he said: “He has improved a lot in the last few games, even if hasn’t had the kinds of dribbles he was having before. He scored against Alavés and then practically scored the goal today.”

Ancelotti on Casemiro’s substitution

Casemiro was taken off just after the challenge that saw him booked but that could have seen him sent off, so Ancelotti was asked if this was the reason for the substitution. He confirmed that it was, saying: “The midfielders suffered more today because the pitch wasn’t good and I took him off because that yellow card could have become dangerous. It was back and forth game. But, he did well. He scored a goal, even if it didn’t count.”

Ancelotti on his midfield against PSG

The coach was then asked if the midfield when Casemiro came off for Fede Valverde might be his midfield trio against PSG. He agreed that it could be Valverde accompanying Toni Kroos and Luka Modrić for that second leg, saying: “It is the most likely midfield to play that game. Valverde did well when he came on at that important moment of the match.”

Ancelotti on Lunin’s absence

Andriy Lunin dropped out of the Real Madrid squad late on, but Ancelotti explained that this was nothing to do with the situation in Ukraine. He stated: “It was because of an elbow injury, as he couldn’t move his arm so well this morning. It was a medical issue. But, I can’t, of course, pretend he isn’t affected by what is going on in Kyiv, where he has people close to him.”