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Valverde: “Vinicius’ performance lifted us”

The midfielder praised his teammate after Real’s 2-5 win in Anfield.

Liverpool FC v Real Madrid: Round of 16 Leg One - UEFA Champions League Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Real Madrid midfielder Fede Valverde talked to the press immediately after the team’s thrilling 2-5 win against Liverpool in the first leg of the Champions League’s Round of 16. Valverde praised his teammate Vinicius Junior, who scored the team’s first two goals when Los Blancos were down 2-0 after just 14 minutes.

“A nice piece of play by Vini really boosted our spirits. We then got lucky with the second goal. Following that, playing more calmly and more simply, we created more chances,” said Valverde, who also shared some thoughts about what went on from a tactical standpoint.

“We started with Camavinga and I playing deeper to try to get the ball out and Modrić further up the pitch near Vini, Benzema and Rodrygo. But we couldn’t get it working, we made mistakes and in the end we changed. I tried to play a bit further up to help press and win the ball back up top,” he explained.

The Uruguayan midfielder also revealed that Ancelotti’s message at half-time was important for the team.

“What Ancelotti said to us at half-time is important. He said a lot of things in a few words. He backed us at the right time and it helped us to get back on our feet. He told us that we could win, that we had to go out focused. We made mistakes and they scored two goals. That desire to keep a clean sheet and play a good game came crashing down, but we were able to fight back and show a lot of pride. The coach was very calm at half-time. He told us that we’d win, that we’d keep looking for the spaces, that we’d find them because we have the squad to do that,” he concluded.

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