Carlo Ancelotti after Real Madrid’s qualification against Leipzig: “It was not a good evening, Mea Culpa”

The starting eleven had given a first clue: no Rodrygo, no Joselu, for a reinforced midfield and a no man’s land up front, as Jude Bellingham was dropping out, Vinicius Junior was sticking to the left. Real Madrid had clearly decided, Wednesday evening, in the round of 16 second leg of the Champions League, to manage their short lead obtained in the first leg (0-1). But he didn’t manage much.

“Real is coming out of a very bad evening”, title Marca on its site to summarize this evening. “Real is playing with fire”, launches AS. It must be said that Carlo Ancelotti’s men set a pace like a senator when they had the ball, and suffered the sometimes too timid, very often imprecise attacks from the Germans, who had a door ajar in front of them but did not didn’t know how to push it.

On arrival, Leipzig only scored once more (4 against 3), notably on Willi Orban’s equalizing goal, without the figures reflecting the visual impression. If Loïs Openda, in particular, had been more skillful, Real might not even have been entitled to an extension.

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The match was bad and poorly played

“If we reversed the quality of the two teams, this match ended 5-2 for Leipzigestimates Fabio Capello, consultant on Sky Italia. The Bernabeu had the roof closed and it was as if the Real players were running out of air. A very, very complicated match.” Words from a former White House official.

And it was not his current resident who contradicted him. At the Movistar microphone, Carlo Ancelotti delivered a cold and bitter observation. “The match was bad and poorly played. It was not a great evening, we lacked a lot of things, intensity, pressing, verticality, speed… We could have been eliminated after such a match, but we also knew how to suffer. It was not a good evening, mea culpa”.

As is often the case in a competition that it dominates like no other (14 titles), Real had the right amount of success, on a final crossbar from Dani Olmo. The small refereeing decisions which turned out in his favor, too, with a Toni Kroos who played with the limits before being replaced, and a Vinicius Junior whom it would not have been crazy to exclude for his altercation with Orban . But also the flash of genius, that of the Bellingham-Vinicius pair, with the perfect pass from the first for the clinical finish of the other.

Bernabeu whistles

Almost classic, in short, for this modern-day Real which has made us so accustomed to going through mouse holes. But it’s all in the “almost”. Because usually, the Bernabeu does not whistle its own team at 0-0 in the first period. Nor does the La Liga leader seem ready to break down at any moment.

“They were phenomenal and we weren’t good. Overall it wasn’t a good game, not at the start, not in the second half, not when we took the lead.”admitted the captain of this frankly shaken ship, Nacho Fernandez. “It wasn’t our best game, either the team or myselfin turn recognized Jude Bellingham at the microphone of Canal +. You can’t always win by playing great football.” If all eleven had been questioned after the meeting, there would possibly have been the same observation eleven times.

On arrival, Real are still in the quarter-finals, who are so difficult to eliminate in the eighth. He always seems to be accompanied by his lucky star, the intangible, almost mystical influence of his audience and his history. But he will seriously have to refocus on his game in the quarter-finals. Because the teams ready to give him so many gifts will be in front of their television.


“Luis Enrique can humiliate him, when there is the Champions League…”

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