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Ancelotti: “The magic of the Bernabéu helped the players to never give up”

The coach’s thoughts on the progress to the semi-finals.

Real Madrid v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Real Madrid have made it to the Champions League semi-finals and it took a lot of suffering. But, for Carlo Ancelotti, this made the victory all the more satisfying. As the coach explained after the match: “We lacked hunger to score goals, especially in the first half. I don’t think we deserved to be 2-0 down when we were and I think we had a physiological dropoff after the 2-0, but the magic of this stadium helps a lot for the players to never give up. We suffered, but the more we suffer the happier I am. I never thought it was lost, you can’t think that in the Bernabéu. It’s difficult to explain it, but the magic of the Bernabéu helps.”

Ancelotti was praised by the journalists at the press conference for his substitutions and he was asked about the changes he made. He responded: “We won this tie because of the energy we had at the end. The substitutions I made were to introduce more energy. That gave us an advantage in extra time when we were fresher than Chelsea. I think the team suffered a lot, but everyone stepped up in what was a difficult match.”

Ancelotti on Real Madrid’s chances of winning the Champions League

The big question is whether or not Real Madrid can go on and win this Champions League. To that question, the Italian responded: “You can’t say if we’ll win it or not win it. We’ve shown we can compete. I also want to congratulate Villarreal and Unai because they’ve done well. Few thought Spanish football would send two teams to the semi-finals of the Champions League. Maybe a third will make it tomorrow.”

Ancelotti on the makeshift defence

Real Madrid finished the match with a back four of Lucas Vázquez, Dani Carvajal, David Alaba and Marcelo. On the defence and the absence of Éder Militão, Ancelotti said: “We suffered at set pieces because we lacked our best set piece defender in Militão. Carvajal did well at centre-back. All the team did well in that sense, playing with extra energy.”

Ancelotti on whether Camavinga should start

Eduardo Camavinga changed the game and Ancelotti was asked if the Frenchman should start more. He seemed to suggest he prefers having the youngster as a sub, saying: “He could be a starter, but it’s clear that when he comes on he adds energy. Whenever matches drop in intensity, you can change the match with a fresh Camavinga.”