Real Madrid welcome newly-promoted Mallorca to the Santiago Bernabeu tomorrow evening. Los Blancos sit top of La Liga after their last-gasp defeat of high-flying Valencia at the weekend, two points clear of last season’s champions and their city rivals Atletico Madrid. Mallorca are ninth, seven points clear of Celta Vigo and the relegation zone.
Speaking to the media in comments carried by Marca, Carlo Ancelotti touched on the state of his team and the room for improvement they still have. He also touched on, or refused to touch on, the crisis currently being lived by Ronald Koeman at their great rivals Barcelona.
“With that attitude it always works out well, especially when you consider the quality the team has,” Carletto said of Sunday evening’s dramatic victory at Mestalla; his charges scored twice in the final minutes to win 2-1 after conceding first.
“That spirit is the basis of the results we’ve achieved. We’ve always fought to the end.” That’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement, however. There certainly is, he said, “especially in the consistency of our game. In defence we’re at 60% or 70%, but so far we’ve done well. Five away games at difficult stadiums with good results shows that this team has balls.”
On Koeman and Barcelona, however, the veteran Italian kept his counsel. “From my experience, all teams sooner or later have problems,” he said. “Now it’s turned out well for us, and the coach has to work to solve the problems. Nothing more.”
Barcelona are third in La Liga, and deployed an emergency centre-forward pairing of Gerard Pique and Luuk de Jong as they fought to rescue a point at home to Granada last night. They managed it at the death through Ronald Araujo, but are some way off the pace domestically. They’re seventh in La Liga, level on points with Mallorca and five behind Madrid.