‘Diego Lopez was Madrid’s starter’

Carlo Ancelotti has explained his decision to omit Iker Casillas from the Real Madrid starting line-up and analysed Los Blancos’ struggles against Real Betis.

Despite needing a late header from Isco to secure a close 2-1 win over Los Beticos in Week 1, new Coach Ancelotti primarily faced questions post match on selecting Diego Lopez ahead of Casillas.

“These are decisions made by small details,” explained the Italian to reporters.

“Let us see what happens for the next game. I spoke with Iker, he is very professional and wants to play and that’s good.

“Today Diego was the starter. He was the goalkeeper for the game today.”

Madrid struggled against Pepe Mel’s side and went behind to Jorge Molina’s opener before Karim Benzema equalised.

“We can improve, it’s normal. I think that any combination is good. We created lots of opportunities to score by combining well, especially on the wing.

“The problem was defence, on the whole. In the first half there was no balance, we didn’t play together and we had problems.

“In the second half we were better in this regard. In my opinion that was the problem in this match, the defence.

“We did everything we could. I said to the players that the first match is never easy. We played well in pre-season and we are excited.

“We didn’t play well, but that’s normal. The most important thing is to win the match, and I think we deserved to win because we created many opportunities to score.

“Honestly, Betis played well. They are a good team.”

Ancelotti started with an attacking line-up for Los Blancos and was asked if it was why the team struggled defensively.

“I’m sure there will be balance because if we want to play quality football we need quality footballers that also play defensively.

“They are generous players, especially Isco, who did everything in this game. He scored a fantastic goal. I think it is a normal problem to have at this stage.

“I think the key to this season is that, the balance that we have to find with quality players.”

Tags Ancelotti Casillas Diego Lopez