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Ancelotti: “The first half showed we can suffer, the second half was a recital”

The coach found merit in both halves of the win over Celtic.

Celtic FC v Real Madrid: Group F - UEFA Champions League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Real Madrid had to hold on throughout the first half against Celtic, before scoring three goals after the break, and Carlo Ancelotti was very happy with the way Tuesday night’s game played out. The coach summed up the evening by stating: “We suffered, especially in the first half, but that’s because you always suffer here. I wasn’t angry at the team. I could never get angry at this team. I’m happy about the second half but also about the first half, because sometimes you need to suffer. It showed we can suffer. The second half was then a recital, honestly.”

Ancelotti on Celtic’s performance

Celtic made it difficult for Real Madrid, especially at the beginning, and the Italian was full of praise for the Scottish champions. He said: “Celtic are a good team and we were worried because we knew what they did against Rangers. We suffered in the first half, but it’s normal to suffer here, where the atmosphere in this stadium is fantastic. I think all players like to play in this kind of atmosphere. I’m glad we put on a good football match for the fans.”

Ancelotti on Tchouaméni’s positioning

Ancelotti was seen communicating a lot with Aurélien Tchouaméni in this game and the coach revealed that he was urging the Frenchman to play further forward if Toni Kroos was dropping deeper. Ancelotti explained: “Tchouaméni had a good match. With Kroos coming back to help us play out, it meant he could have gone a bit further forward. These are mechanisms that will come, as they’re only just starting to play together. But, his performance was good. Not spectacular, but it was good.”

Ancelotti on the injuries

There was some bad news, though, with a couple of injuries. The big one is Karim Benzema and the coach didn’t have much to say, telling the press: “We don’t know what he has yet. It’s still not clear if it’s muscular or not.”

As for Éder Militão, who went off at half time, Ancelotti added: “Militão had an overload in the hamstrings and we didn’t want to take any risks, even though he wanted to continue. We had Rüdiger, a great centre-back who could come in.”

Ancelotti on Hazard’s position

It was Eden Hazard who replaced Benzema and the coach was also asked for an evaluation of the former Chelsea man’s performance. Ancelotti replied: “He can’t play like a natural centre-forward, but he has the ability to move and help in possession. He won’t have a fixed position with the centre-backs. The fact he can move helps us. He did well today.”

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