Ancelotti: As Coach, I’m responsible

Carlo Ancelotti has explained Real Madrid’s grievances with the match officials after the Clasico and defended his team selection.

The Italian saw his side fall to a 2-1 defeat at the Camp Nou on Saturday evening, in a game that had Cristiano Ronaldo’s second-half penalty appeals turned down.

Prompting a number of complaints from those at the club afterwards, the Coach was asked this week if he considered it a ‘theft’.

“I am not talking about a theft because I like to think that the referee was working in good faith,” Ancelotti has mused this week in conversation with Cadena COPE.

“The referee makes mistakes like the players do. The referee made an error at an important moment of the game, but I do not think it was a robbery. No-one at the club has spoken of theft.”

The Italian was asked about Barcelona’s accusations, through Sergio Busquets, that Madrid were whining about the referee.

“I do not think that is true. Speaking of the penalty, no-one has said anything bad because the penalty was clear. It is an episode that, from time to time, can determine a match.

“I had a problem with the same referee, with Undiano during a Champions League quarter-final with Chelsea against Manchester United, it was the same mistake and there was no whistle [for a foul from Patrice Evra on Ramires].

“But that is football, we have to look forward.”

Ancelotti was grilled on his team selection, which saw Gareth Bale start in attack alongside Angel di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo, and Sergio Ramos placed in defensive midfield.

“Did I play Bale for his price tag? For me, Bale is a player like any other. I think he was a good signing for Real Madrid.

“Bale played because in my opinion he could play and create problems for Barcelona, only for this. Benzema did not start because I did not want the opposing defence to have a clear point  of reference.

“So, Bale started on the left but could be repositioned with Di Maria.

“Ramos in midfield? I do not think I was wrong there. It is true that Sergio Ramos has not played in this position before. Before deciding I spoke to him. He was happy, excited to play in this position.

“I do not think the game was so bad. It is not true and putting Ramos in midfield was defensive. The defensive midfielder was the same as when Illarramendi was playing there.

“If the week in training was the same as I saw last week, then yes, I would put Ramos in midfield again, if the Clasico was played tomorrow.

“Am I to blame for the defeat? It could be. Generally a Coach is responsible for team results. When Madrid have lost, the first to be responsible if the Coach.

“All the problems that have emerged in this period are ones that can be solved by the Coach. I have a team that is very good, with very professional players, they are not causing any problems. For this, I can say yes.”

Tags Ancelotti Bale Clasico Ramos
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