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Ancelotti: “Asensio took the penalty instead of Rodrygo, who might be mentally affected by his World Cup miss”

The coach’s reaction to a tough - in every sense - loss.

RCD Mallorca v Real Madrid CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Following Real Madrid’s 1-0 loss at Real Mallorca on Sunday, Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media and expressed his frustration at the islanders’ persistent fouling and at Marco Asensio’s penalty miss. In his analysis of the game, he said: “It’s a loss that hurts a lot, but we expected the game would be like this, difficult with lots of fouls and interruptions. We prepared for a game like this. We suffered because of the early goal conceded. Then, the missed penalty obviously affected the final result too. I don’t think it was a bad game, but I think it was a different kind of game from usual, atypical. There should have been more yellow cards for them, not because the fouls were particularly bad but for consistent fouling. Now, we focus on the Club World Cup and then we’ll come back to fight for LaLiga until the end.”

Ancelotti on the drama surrounding Vinícius

Vinícius was in the eye of the storm in this game, as was expected to be the case given some of the comments from certain Real Mallorca defenders. Discussing this, Ancelotti said: “All that has happened and is happening to Vinícius isn’t his fault. He just wants to play football, but opponents provoke and foul him. I think we need to look at this game as an example.”

Ancelotti on Asensio as the penalty taker

Explaining why Marco Asensio took the penalty and not Rodrygo, Ancelotti said: “I picked the taker, because Benzema, Modrić and Kroos were all off the pitch at that point. It was between Asensio and Rodrygo and we thought that Rodrygo might be a little mentally affected from his miss in the World Cup.”

Ancelotti on Courtois’ injury

Providing an update on the physical issue that forced Thibaut Courtois to drop out of the starting line-up, he said: “Courtois had a problem in the warm-ups and we’ll have tests tomorrow to see exactly what the issue is. We know it was bad enough that he wasn’t able to play in this game.”

Ancelotti on Kroos and Modrić starting on the bench

The coach also provided non-footballing reasons for why Toni Kroos and Luka Modrić started this game on the bench. He explained: “Toni was a little bit injured after the Valencia game. With Luka, he’d played less than 72 hours ago, so I didn’t want to risk him.”

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