Carlo Ancelotti has explained why he deployed Sergio Ramos in midfield in Real Madrid’s Champions League quarter-final win over Atletico Madrid.
An injury-hit Blancos side overcame Atletico through Javier Hernandez’s late goal having started with Ramos in midfield and Raphael Varane and Pepe in defence.
“I decided [to put Ramos in midfield] minutes after Luka Modric was injured,” Ancelotti revealed, AS reports.
“I have confidence in Sergio and he gives us a taller team. It guarantees we suffer less at set-pieces. It’s a decision for today only.
“He has sacrificed for the team and understood that it was important for us to avoid problems at set-pieces.
“It was a good game with a good strategy. I said we weren’t in a hurry to score. We had the ball and the team was well-connected.
“We have to congratulate Chicharito because it has been a difficult year, not playing much, but he has always trained, worked and suffered and he deserves what has happened.
“I’ve not removed the thorn of the derby. We played against a defensively strong team, not giving any chances. I have a lot of respect for this opponent.
“We have won and lost with them but they have always worked very well in defence.
“I’m happy no matter [the semi-final opponent]. Four very strong teams have reached the semi-finals.”