Carlo Ancelotti admits Real Madrid lost control of the match slightly toward end of win at Elche

Real Madrid travelled to the Martinez Valero this afternoon to take on Elche in La Liga. Carlo Ancelotti’s men were on the hunt for nothing less than three points, and they were successful. They won 2-1 thanks to an excellent brace from Vinicius.

Madrid beat Barcelona 2-1 in El Clasico last Sunday but only managed a scoreless draw at home to Osasuna during the week. Elche hadn’t won going into the game since October third, and lost 1-0 to struggling Alaves on Tuesday night.

The visitors went into the game in the knowledge that they would go top with a win, as it would draw them level on points with leaders Real Sociedad and they have a better goal difference. They were second at kick-off, while Elche were 15th.

Karim Benzema was quite surprisingly left out of the team, but Madrid still had enough firepower to take a 22nd minute lead. Vinicius combined well with Mariano Diaz before arrowing a ruthless finish past Kiko Casilla in Elche’s goal.

Elche gave a good account of themselves despite going a goal down, although their task became a lot more difficult in the 62nd minute. Raul Guti, an important midfielder of theirs, saw red after picking up a second yellow following a challenge on Toni Kroos.

Shortly after, Vinicius and Madrid struck again. This time Luka Modric funnelled a smart ball into the Brazilian, who took a smart touch to set himself up before lifting the ball cooly over Casilla.

It wasn’t over and done with, however. Casemiro lost the ball cheaply in the 86th minute to allow Pere Milla in on goal. The 29-year-old made no mistake and finished with composure past Thibaut Courtois. But it was mere consolation.

“We controlled the match quite well, except for the final phase,” Ancelotti said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “It was never going to be a very physical match given we’d played recently. Everyone thought the match was over [at 2-0], but it doesn’t end until the final whistle.

“[Vinicius] continued with his good form and showed a lot of commitment, but Mariano also played very well and provided a great assist. Then, Vinicius took his chance very well.”

Ancelotti was asked about his relationship with his players. “I don’t know, you’d have to ask them,” he replied. “I have a lot of affection for everyone. I always tell them that I direct the player from the bench, not the person. The person is above that. As a team, they’re very professional.”

Tags Carlo Ancelotti Elche La Liga Real Madrid