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Ancelotti: “The freekick was going to be taken by Benzema or Kroos, but then we sent on Alaba”

The coach’s press conference comments after the 2-1 win in Almería.

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

Real Madrid produced a come-from-behind win to defeat Almería 2-1 at the Power Horse Stadium on Sunday night and Carlo Ancelotti was pleased with the way his players fought back, blaming the goal conceded in the first half on a one-off error. Summing up the game, the coach said: “It became a tough game because of a quite simple defensive mistake. But, then we improved. We had lots of corners and chances and then got the goals.”

Ancelotti on the Alaba freekick

The winning goal was scored by David Alaba, who took a freekick straight after he came on. Asked how that came about, he explained: “It was going to be taken by Benzema or Kroos, but Alaba can take it really well from there. So, we decided that he would take it. It wasn’t easy to tell the other two that Alaba was going to take it. No, I’m joking about that last bit!”

Ancelotti on the youngsters

There were several young players in the line-up, such as Eduardo Camavinga and Aurélien Tchouaméni, and they didn’t have their best game. On that, Ancelotti said: “The youngsters didn’t play as they usually play, like I have seen them play in training. Maybe today was difficult emotionally. They didn’t do anything bad, but they could do better. When I took Camavinga off at half time, it wasn’t because he had done anything wrong. It was because we expected more dangerous counter attacks from them in the second half.”

Ancelotti on playing with a diamond

With Eden Hazard having come on and done well, Ancelotti was asked if he’d consider playing with a diamond system, with the Belgian at the tip of it. He replied: “I’d have to think about that. But, we have Vinícius, who is always going to like to be very wide. Hazard is able to make a contribution even in tight spaces, like today. He’s doing well.”

Ancelotti on Asensio’s future

Marco Asensio didn’t even warm up on the night. Asked if that means anything for his future, Ancelotti said: “Asensio is a Real Madrid player for as long as he’s a Real Madrid player. If he deserves to play, he’ll play. He scored a lot of goals last season, often scoring the first goal. We’ll have to wait until the 31st to see what happens.”

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