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Ancelotti: “We have more confidence this Champions League season after what we did last year”

The coach analysed the second leg victory over Liverpool.

Real Madrid v Liverpool FC: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League Photo by Will Palmer/Getty Images

Following Real Madrid’s 1-0 second leg win against Liverpool and their safe passage to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Carlo Ancelotti appeared in the Bernabéu press room and analysed the game as so: “The match went well. It could have been a tricky kind of game, but we started well and were serious from the start, putting in a complete performance. We have individual quality, commitment, energy and experience. Today, Modrić and Kroos were both really good as they were great on the ball to play through their press and ensure we kept control. They weren’t starting here because of what they did in the past, but because of what they’re doing now. And, Vinícius was decisive once again, providing the assist.”

Ancelotti on making the substitutions so late

Real Madrid only made substitutions in the final 10 minutes, after going 1-0 up on the night. Asked why that was, the coach replied: “I waited because the game was doing well. I didn’t need to make substitutions just for the sake of making substitutions. I then made the changes to waste time and see out the victory.”

Ancelotti on Benzema’s injury

Providing an update on the issue suffered to Benzema’s ankle when he scored the goal, Ancelotti said: “It seems it was just a knock, but I think he’ll recover without any problems for Sunday.”

Ancelotti on having a healthy squad

With David Alaba and Ferland Mendy also coming back, the Italian finally has all his defenders available. Asked if that creates a selection problem, he said: “No, it’s a problem when I have to play players out of position. We’re doing really well at the back and have options. Nacho had yet another great game at left-back, against Salah, which isn’t easy.”

Ancelotti on Camavinga becoming a starter

Last year, Eduardo Camavinga was key in the Champions League run as a member of the bench mob, but now he has become a starter. Asked about this change, the coach said: “He is in a very good run of form, playing at a high level. He is making the most of his opportunities and he works well with Kroos and Modrić. When Kroos drops deeper, Camavinga can get forward into attack. He had another good performance here.”

Ancelotti on the quarter-final draw

It pointed out to Ancelotti that he has coached five of the eight teams in the Champions League quarter-finals and he was asked if he would rather face one of his former clubs. He replied: “I don’t have any preferred opponent. To win the Champions League, you have to pass three more rounds. We have more confidence this year after what we did last year. Even if I have no favoured opponent, I’m happy that Italian football has three teams in the quarter-finals. Nobody expected to have this many Italian sides in the quarter-finals.”

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