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Ancelotti: “Rüdiger is performing at a very high level, he’s doing his best”

Italian coach spoke after the win over Mallorca

Real Madrid CF v RCD Mallorca - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Alvaro Medranda/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

After a gritty 1-0 win over Mallorca, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press and answered several questions ranging from Arda Güler not playing to Antonio Rüdiger’s performances this season. When asked about the latter, the Italian coach said: “He has taken advantage of others’ injuries. He is performing at a very high level, with continuity. He is always ready in duels. He is an insurance that we have behind. He is doing his best.”

Ancelotti on set-pieces

“In this first stretch of the season we have scored many goals from set pieces, the coaching staff works very well, we have good throwers, we have formidable headers, like Rüdiger. Games like this are those in which the set piece gives an advantage, Mallorca was very organized, very strong in the duels. We have not played at our best level. It was normal to expect it, there was a lack of freshness in the last third. But we won with a well-made set piece.”

Ancelotti on Bellingham not scoring a goal vs Mallorca

“It shouldn’t be surprising that Bellingham doesn’t score goals; he has to work, and he has worked. When he scores, and he scores a lot of goals, it’s a plus. His game was similar to all the other attackers. There was a lack of success and a little freshness.”

Ancelotti on yet another clean sheet

“It makes me happy, the team works well, there is commitment, and the defensive work is not about quality, but about attitude. We fixed the problem we had vs Atleti. We lack people at the back, but we are very solid. It is the most important thing.”

Ancelotti on Arda Güler not getting minutes

“He is fine, calm, very happy to be working with the team again. I am very aware that he is 18 years old. Calm down, calm down with him. He will be a very important player for the present and the future. A little patience is necessary on everyone’s part. I have it, and so does he. He will have the minutes. The quality is there.”

Ancelotti on Brahim

“He is in a very good moment. He contributed to that lack of freshness today. I don’t know how he missed that goal, but heading is not his best quality.

“Joselu also contributed. The team was suffering a little bit.”

Ancelotti on the goalkeeper situation

“There will be a goalkeeper in the goal, that’s for sure. We will see. Lunin played because Kepa had flu problems. Kepa will play next and then for Saudi Arabia I will evaluate.”

Ancelotti on typical problems faced by Real Madrid in January

“I take that into account. In the past, there were problems. We are recovering important players, Camavinga and Mendy return for the next game, which gives me confidence. Vinicius’ condition will improve. We have suffered in the past, but I am confident we can do better this month.”

Ancelotti on rotations for Copa Del Rey

“We will do some rotations, I will think about it tomorrow. Some Castilla players will be on the list, maybe I’ll include a centre-back with Nacho, who hasn’t played today. We will try to play a good game.”

Ancelotti on how the Atlético defeat changed everything

“Those goals conceded opened our eyes, we were weak in the centre. We fixed that by keeping the two centre-backs more inside the area when there are crosses and helping more on the sides with the midfielders. We have fixed it well.”

Ancelotti on the referee

“He is young, this referee has quality, there were small details, cards, we protested a lot, too much in my opinion, that is not good. We have to make sure that you don’t earn yellow cards for protesting, I don’t like it. He could have gotten a little more right, but he is a young referee and has quality.”

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