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Ancelotti: “We thought the game was over at 2-0, we need to be better in that situation”

All the quotes from the coach’s post-match press conference.

Al Ahly v Real Madrid CF: Semi Final - FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2022 Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Real Madrid have reached the Club World Cup final, defeating Al Ahly 4-1 on Wednesday night with goals from Vinícius, Fede Valverde, Rodrygo and Sergio Arribas. Despite the large scoreline, Real Madrid did struggle for a moment in the second half and Carlo Ancelotti wasn’t happy with the drop-off in the performance. He said: “We were good for an hour, but then thought the game was over when it was 2-0. But, football doesn’t work like that. We need to be much better when we have a situation is like that. We need to focus until the end. The game became open again, but we finished it off well. I wouldn’t say we won it completely calmly, but we controlled it fairly well.”

Ancelotti on the final against Al Hilal

It’s Al Hilal, not Flamengo, who Real Madrid will face in the final and Ancelotti previewed that game by stating: “The final of this tournament used to always be the European team vs the South American team, but football is changing and for the better. Clubs from around the world can all compete and win. Al Hilal have earned the right to be here. They’ll be motivated and we will be too.”

Ancelotti on injuries

Providing an injury update ahead of the final, Ancelotti said: “Benzema and Militão will fly out, although they’re not fully recovered. I think Benzema is quite ok, but Militão is more of a doubt. They’ll train on Friday and we’ll see. Carvajal and Asensio should both be back for the final too.”

Ancelotti on Arribas and his minutes

With Sergio Arribas scoring just after coming off the bench, the coach was asked if this means the Castilla player will be given more minutes now. To that, he replied: “He is really important for us and I think I’ve said that many times. Nobody here forgets about the academy players. But, the first-team players here at Real Madrid are of a very high level, so much so that they just won the European Cup, so it’s not so easy to give minutes to the youth teamers. We do have players coming through and they’ll be in the first team soon.”

Ancelotti on Vinícius’ performance

Asked how he felt Vinícius did and if he felt he was calmer playing outside of Spain, Ancelotti responded: “He likes to play football wherever he is. He had a complete game, scoring a goal and providing constant danger.”

Ancelotti on Fede Valverde’s goal

Explaining what Fede Valverde’s goal could mean for the Uruguayan’s confidence, the coach said: “I’m happy for him because he had a good game. He is recovering his form little by little.”

Ancelotti on the penalty misses

Real Madrid have now missed four penalties from 12 this season, not including the shootout against Valencia. They’ve had four different takers miss too, with Benzema, Hazard, Asensio and now Modrić. Asked what can be done to improve the conversion rate from the spot, Ancelotti said: “Sometimes penalties are missed. Modrić has always taken penalties well, but this can happen. We just have to pick the best taker in each moment. It’s quite clear to me, it’s Benzema then Modrić and then it could be Asensio too. I’ve said it before, it’s hard to train penalties as it’s different to taking one in a match.”

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