Real Madrid managed to make it past Valencia by the minimum possible, with a victory on penalties over Los Che in the Spanish Supercup final.
Following a damaging defeat to Villarreal on Saturday, it was an important result for Los Blancos, but it answered few of the questions hanging over Carlo Ancelotti’s side. Real Madrid had chances to win it, but also had Thibaut Courtois to thank for tow big saves that kept Valencia out in extra-time.
After that weekend loss, Ancelotti was critical of his side, claiming they were outplayed. Before the match, he also questioned the mentality and sacrifice of his side.
After the Valencia game he once again focused on mistakes with Marca.
“A suffered game, difficult. A knockout tie is never easy. The end of the game has been good, better. The team is not at its best. You have to improve little by little, suffering, but always present on the field and competing. There is no game easy in football. The rivals are well organized. The important thing is to win.”
“It wasn’t a physical problem because at the end of the game we did well. There was a mistake. We were more compact during the game, but it was a collective mistake. They didn’t press the ball and the reading of the midfield wasn’t good. There are players who have come back recently. We had to play Carvajal and Mendy, who were at their limit. It was a very difficult game”
Some have questioned whether Real Madrid might be suffering from a World Cup hangover in terms of fitness, following poor performances from Aurelien Tchouameni and less influence from Luka Modric.
The injuries are also mounting up for Ancelotti. As he mentioned, Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy were used when they might not have been if there hadn’t been issues for Eder Militao and Lucas Vazquez. Ahead of the final, Ancelotti will hope to settle his side down, who continued to feature loose touches in their attacks.