Carlo Ancelotti: “It is good that the fans wake us up with the whistles”

Real Madrid welcomed Shakhtar Donetsk to the Santiago Bernabeu this evening in another Champions League fixture and secured a not-entirely-comfortable 2-1 win.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side were second in Group D heading into the game, level on points with leaders Sheriff, two points clear of third-placed Inter and five clear of bottom-placed Shakhtar.

Madrid went into the game full of confidence given they beat Shakhtar 5-0 in Ukraine earlier this month, and got off to a good start. They controlled the majority of the early play, although remained wary to the threat Shakhtar posed on the break.

The hosts took the lead in the 14th minute. Vinicius won the ball after putting the visiting defence under pressure before squaring it for the returning Karim Benzema, who finished coolly to score the club’s 1,000th Champions League goal.

Shakhtar got back on level terms six minutes before half-time. An intelligent, lofted ball from midfield was controlled and chested down by Alan Patrick, before his fellow Brazilian Fernando got a shot off that beat Thibaut Courtois in the Madrid goal.

The Ukrainians continued to impress at the beginning of the second half, but Benzema scored his second to regain Madrid’s lead on the hour. A slick attacking move ended with Vinicius again teeing up the Frenchman to make it 2-1 and win the game.

Speaking after the match in comments carried by Marca, Ancelotti spoke about the criticism his team received from parts of the stadium due to their inability to dominate the game, and also spoke about some of his key performers on the night.

“I understand the whistles because I know the atmosphere,” the Italian coach said. “It’s a stadium that demands a lot.

“We started both halves well and then dropped off, we weren’t very aggressive. This can happen and it is good that the fans wake us up with the whistles.

“It is true that they have stood out more than the other players,” Ancelotti said when asked about the performances of Thibaut Courtois, Vinicius and Benzema.

“It is a team that is trying everything, and there are also players like [David] Alaba and [Eder] Militao who have done well. I agree that Courtois, Vini and Benzema have shone, but Real Madrid are Real Madrid – a team.”

Tags Carlo Ancelotti Champions League Real Madrid