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Ancelotti: “Our tactics were exactly the same as the previous two Clásicos”

The quotes from the Italian’s press conference after the 4-0 win at the Camp Nou.

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF: Semi Final Second Leg - Copa Del Rey Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

There has been so much criticism of Carlo Ancelotti in recent weeks, but his Real Madrid side went out and thrashed Barcelona 4-0 at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night, progressing to the Copa del Rey final 4-1 on aggregate. The coach had explained before the game that he didn’t need to change much and he maintained that line of thought afterwards in the post-match press conference, stating: “This was a complete performance. We managed to suffer when we had to suffer in the first half, when we struggled to play the ball out, but then the first goal changed the game and we could create many dangerous chances. Even though we’d lost the last couple of Clásicos, we had played well in those games and didn’t lose any confidence. Our tactics for this game were exactly the same as the previous two Clásicos. We didn’t change anything, other than some minor changes, such as Rodrygo coming in up front, but it was basically the same except that this time we got the benefit of the fine margins. The first goal was so important and it then changed the second half.”

Ancelotti on trusting Kroos and Modrić

Many have been critical of the idea of starting both Kroos and Modrić together in big games, but Ancelotti did so here and that team selection was justified. On this, he stated: “These are matches where the personality and experience of a player is very important. I tried to create a mix in the line-up, with the energy of Rodrygo, Valverde and Camavinga and with the experience of Vinícius, Modrić and Kroos. They don’t get nervous in these types of matches.”

Ancelotti on Vinícius being close to a red card

Even though Ancelotti mentioned Vinícius as being one of the team’s more experienced players, the Brazilian did come close to collecting a second yellow in this game and the coach revealed that this was the reason for the winger’s substitution. He stated: “It was a physical game and a game with a lot of tension. I took Vinícius off because he had a yellow card and we didn’t want to lose him for the final. We didn’t want to take that risk.”

Ancelotti on Benzema winning another Ballon d’Or

Asked if Karim Benzema can win another Ballon d’Or in his career, he stated: “Why not? He’s still one of the best players in the world. He makes the difference.”

Ancelotti on Camavinga at left-back

A couple of months ago, Ancelotti said that Camavinga would only play left-back in emergency situations. However, this wasn’t an emergency situation, in the sense that other players were available for that position. When this was put to the coach, he responded: “Yes, we still think that [he should only play there in emergency situations]. He is an extra option to play there. Camavinga is still so young and he’s playing very well, whether as a pivot or a left-back. He did really well in his individual duel with Raphinha.”

Ancelotti on the Copa del Rey final vs Osasuna

Looking ahead to the final vs Osasuna, Ancelotti was reminded of a conversation with Jagoba Arrasate that was captured before these two teams’ game in February. Then, he joked that they’d meet again in the final. When that was brought up in the press conference, the Italian said: “It was just a joke, but it’s now reality. We’re really happy about that. I think it’ll be a nice final with a really amazing atmosphere. Coming from behind makes this even more special. I hope we can now win the final and celebrate the trophy.”

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