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Ancelotti: “We suffered from Kanté’s positioning, but fixed it with Valverde in the second half”

The coach’s thoughts after Real Madrid reached the semi-finals.

Chelsea FC v Real Madrid: Quarterfinal Second Leg - UEFA Champions League Photo by Steve Bardens - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

After Real Madrid won their second leg against Chelsea to reach the Champions League semi-finals in convincing fashion, Carlo Ancelotti spoke in the post-match press conference and analysed the game as so: “It was as difficult as expected. Chelsea did really well in the first half and we had problems them, with Courtois helping us to keep the score level. We then had a better second half, helped by the fact that Chelsea’s intensity reduced. We controlled the ball better in the second half. We’re doing really well in this stage of the season. We’re at our peak, we’re motivated, we’re focused, we’re defensively solid. Reaching a semi-final is always a success.”

Ancelotti on Camavinga’s tough first half

Managing Madrid’s own Kiyan Sobhani was there in the Stamford Bridge press room and asked Ancelotti about the chances Chelsea created in the first half, most of which came down Camavinga’s side. He explained: “I think we suffered from Kanté’s positioning, when he was centre-right. Camavinga was used to putting pressure on Reece James and it was difficult to control the position of Kanté. In the second half, I changed the position of Valverde by putting him on the left to control the position and we were much better there. In the first half, Modrić went to stay with Enzo and that position was not covered properly and Camavinga suffered two against one. We conceded six crosses from that side in the first half. The second half was much better.”

Ancelotti on Rodrygo as a starter

Rodrygo has become a starter in this team, which means Ancelotti can’t bring him off the bench to be a super sub any more. Asked about that and about the conversation they had on the sideline just before the goals, he said: “I was speaking to Rodrygo about a defensive problem, about a positional thing. His performance today wasn’t actually as good as some other games, because he had other games that were spectacular without scoring. Today, he scored the two goals and two goals in a quarter-final is impressive. We’re lucky to have him and the other youngsters with that mix of energy and quality.”

Ancelotti on Courtois’ save

Discussing the huge save that Thibaut Courtois made against Marc Cucurella just before half-time, the coach stated: “That save was key because it could have changed the dynamic of the game for the second half. It was very important.”

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