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Ancelotti: “We won because we had more energy than Espanyol”

The coach’s thoughts on the win at Espanyol.

RCD Espanyol V Real Madrid - La Liga Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Real Madrid eventually ultimately overcame Espanyol 3-1 thanks to two late Karim Benzema goals and, according to Carlo Ancelotti, thanks to the team’s superior energy. The Italian analysed the match, stating: “We started very well, scoring early on. But, then we lowered our intensity for a while. We were slow. It became difficult once they equalised, with a lot of interruptions in the game. It became an end-to-end match and that was good for us. We won the match because we had more energy on the pitch than the opponent. We have the energy of Camavinga, Rodrygo, Valverde or Vinícius.”

It was then put to Ancelotti that he might consider using the energetic youngsters in the starting line-up more often, but he replied by explaining: “Each match is different. If we’d started today with Camavinga and Rodrygo, we might not have enjoyed the control of the first hour. If we’d substituted on Kroos and Modrić, maybe we wouldn’t have had energy at the end. It’s a gamble. Sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn’t.”

Ancelotti on Rüdiger and Alaba’s positions

Whenever Antonio Rüdiger and David Alaba coincide on the team sheet, it’s not clear exactly who’ll line up where. Asked why he decided for today’s game to have the German at centre-back and the Austrian at left-back, Ancelotti said: “We wanted more aerial play in the centre, since Joselu is good in the air, so Rüdiger was chosen at centre-back for that. Plus, Alaba can be a good full-back going forward.”

Ancelotti on why he didn’t use Asensio or Mariano

Marco Asensio and Mariano were mere onlookers and Ancelotti was asked if this was because he waned to protect them, to avoid a potential injury that would hurt their value in the transfer market. To that, he curtly replied: “No, not to protect them. If I have to protect a player in that way then I’ll leave them at home on the sofa.”

Ancelotti on Hazard

Eden Hazard is, of course, brought up in most press conferences and that was the case here. On the fact that the Belgian wasn’t introduced, the coach said: “He could have been an option, but I didn’t want to unbalance the team. Putting on another forward would have been a risk, with Benzema, Rodrygo and Vinícius all on the pitch. If Hazard doesn’t play in a certain game, that’s fine. I’m not the coach of Hazard or of Benzema or Mendy or Camavinga or Valverde. I’m the coach of Real Madrid.”

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