NEWS
Sunday March 22 2015
Ancelotti: Madrid lost their heads

Carlo Ancelotti has admitted that Real Madrid lost their heads during Sunday’s 2-1 Clasico defeat to Barcelona at Camp Nou.

Speaking after the game, the Coach claimed his side were in control of the encounter until Luis Suarez’s winner on the hour mark affected their mental psyche and that the result could have been worse, had the Catalans not been so ‘terrible’ on the counterattack.

“Two teams of a very high standard played the match,” he told reporters.

“I think we did very well for an hour until the second goal. The game then became very difficult for us.

“We were very solid at the back but we lacked substance. We did well for an hour, the remaining 30 minute not so much.

“We played well [in the first half], now we have to continue with this level of performance. The team have improved a lot but the League is complicated.

“Barca now have the advantage but we can’t give up, especially considering how well we did in the first half. We have to follow [our first-half performance] through.

“At the moment, the League isn’t over. Barca have the advantage, but anything can happen in football. We won’t prioritise the Champions League.

“It’s hard to say [if the best team won]. For an hour we played better [than them], and in the last half an hour, Barca’s counterattacks were terrible.

“We’re two great teams and they won. I think both teams deserved to achieve something important, but I’m happy for them.

“We played like we usually do. We don’t always do it, but we tried to play with two banks of four. Bale played deeper because Alba pushed up a lot.

“Like us, they can also score from set-pieces. I don’t think [Jeremy Mathieu’s goal] was a mistake.

“[Our drop in performance levels] was not a physical problem, but a head [problem]. We had the same idea of the game we had early on, but the last 30 minutes didn’t go like the first half.

“We’re still motivated [about winning La Liga] and we’ll take positives from the game because we played well. We must have confidence for the last leg of the season.

“I don’t think Cristiano [Ronaldo] changed his profile. He had a very complete game, worked hard, scored his goal with conviction and hit the bar, but it was the same Cristiano.

“Perhaps [Toni Kroos and Luka Modric both became tired] because they worked hard. Their work was very important. They played very well, so it’s fair that they were tired at the end.”

Football Italia website