At half time of Thursday night’s Copa del Rey tie against Villarreal, it looked very likely that Real Madrid would be exiting the competition. The hosts led 2-0 courtesy of goals from Etienne Capoue and Samuel Chukwueze, and Carlo Ancelotti’s side had been absolutely awful.
However, a miraculous second half comeback saw Los Blancos progress to the quarterfinals of the competition. Goals from Vincius Jr, Eder Militao and Dani Ceballos mean that they will be in Friday’s draw, and still with a chance of winning five trophies this season.
Despite their victory, Ancelotti was keen to not forget the team’s abject showing in the first half.
“It’s true that we were good at the end but we must not forget how we played in the first half because there are still many things to correct.”
Real Madrid have had a difficult 2023 so far, but Ancelotti is hopeful that the result and performance on Thursday will prove to be a catalyst for a change of fortune going forward.
“We seem to be back, yes. The team had the character after a very bad first half that must not be forgotten, but it is true that we have changed”.
Ancelotti saved special praise for Ceballos, who changed the game when he came on. The Spaniard provided the assist for Vinicius Jr’s goal, before scoring the winner himself. The Italian was delighted with the contribution of him and also Marco Asensio, who laid on Ceballos’ goal.
“Asensio and Ceballos changed the dynamics of the game. They put quality and energy, and I think both have been decisive.”