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Ancelotti: “It’s hard to understand how good our second half performance was”

The coach also discussed some of the controversial refereeing decisions.

Sevilla FC v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Real Madrid took a major step towards winning the 2021/22 LaLiga Santander title with their 3-2 comeback win at Sevilla on Sunday night and Carlo Ancelotti was obviously delighted with the result. In his post-match press conference, he did criticise the first-half performance, but said he was proud with the way they fought back.

In his first answer in the post-match press conference, the coach said: “The first half was my fault and the second half comeback was down to the quality of the players. We weren’t well positioned in the first half. We weren’t compact and they also opened us up with switches of play. We also weren’t doing things right with the ball. So, we changed two or three things. We seemed tired in the first half, but were then intense in the second half. That’s hard to understand, just like I can’t understand the Diego Carlos handball or the Vinícius handball. Sometimes there are things that are hard to understand. Honestly, it’s hard to understand our second half performance, with the intensity, quality, focus and attitude we had. I’m not surprised because this team no longer surprises me, but I am very proud of that second half and I’m grateful to the players.”

It was odd to hear Ancelotti bring up refereeing decisions without being asked, as he doesn’t usually like to discuss the officiating. And, of course, he was pressed further on those two handball incidents at each end, as well as the possible second yellow card that could have been shown to Eduardo Camavinga. He replied: “With the disallowed goal, it didn’t look like it touched his arm and Vinícius was sure about that too. I know it’s hard to officiate these kinds of situations, but I thought that was quite clear. And, imagine if they’d sent off Camavinga on top of that! I thought he got the ball, but I don’t want to get into that. I’ve already said all I wanted to say on that.”

Ancelotti on Rodrygo as a super sub

Asked about Rodrygo and whether he is better coming on as a substitute than as a starter, Ancelotti chuckled and replied: “I suppose that’s what the stats say. But, he’s also going to be a great starter. It’s similar to Camavinga, but both of them can make a difference from the start as well as off the bench.”