Carlo Ancelotti finds silver linings despite admitting bad Real Madrid performance

Real Madrid were going into El Clasico in relatively tranquil fashion compared to their opponents Barcelona on Sunday, but their trip to play Shakhtar Donetsk was a firm reminder that without maximum concentration, things can unravel quickly.

Los Blancos struggled to break Shakhtar down in Warsaw and less than a minute into the second half, they went behind to an Oleksandr Zubkov header. Only in the final 20 minutes did they manage to get some joy from crosses, with Antonio Rudiger glancing a last-minute equaliser in for a 1-1 draw.

Speaking to Marca after the match, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti admitted that it wasn’t a stellar night for his side.

“We did not play well but this team never gives up.”

“We are qualified for the Round of 16 on a night that looked bad, that is something good. They changed system to position players to cut out the passes in between the lines, we had to play on the flanks, it didn’t go well for us…”

“And with their goal, it got more difficult for us. We played very badly, but we showed that we never give up. We played badly because sometimes it happens in football. Out wide we did not try to dribble to break lines. The positive thing is that we did not give up. Only the team that gets through to the knockout phases can win the Champions League and we are there. Beating this team is difficult.”

As Ancelotti points out, the point is enough to see them through, which is ultimately the important thing. Although it was a rotated side, their defensive issues are yet to be solved. So far they have just 3 clean sheets in 13 matches this season.

Real Madrid fail to win for just the second time this season and the second time since the international break. Equally, they are unbeaten going into El Clasico and the mitigating factors of this draw, rotations and the reduced pressure for a result, will probably leave Ancelotti unconcerned.

Tags Carlo Ancelotti Champions League El Clasico Real Madrid Shakhtar Donetsk
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