Los Blancos made yet another comeback as they comfortably defeat Espanyol to close the gap between them and Barcelona to six points
Carlo Ancelotti praised Real Madrid’s ability to bounce back after their 3-1 victory against Espanyol on Saturday, saying that the win has given the team confidence ahead of a crucial week.
Real Madrid found themselves behind when Joselu scored the opening goal for Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu, which could have potentially widened the gap between Madrid and LaLiga leaders Barcelona. However, the champions demonstrated their resilience and responded well to cut the gap to just six points.
Ancelotti refused to comment on the Barcelona allegations
Vinicius Junior scored a beautiful goal by arcing a fine strike into the bottom-right corner to level the score, and Eder Militao’s header put Madrid on top, with Marco Asensio sealing the points at the end. The win means that Madrid has now claimed 10 points from losing positions in LaLiga this season. Girona is the only team with a better tally of 12 points.
“The matches are all difficult, whoever the rival is,” Ancelotti told Movistar. “We needed the three points, a very important week begins now with the Champions League and the Clasico.
“The beginning was not very spectacular, then we came back, we controlled it well, it was a good game. We needed to win, we won, and now we go for the next one.
“We arrive in a good mood, hopefully we can prepare well for Wednesday’s game [against Liverpool], which has many traps, and they must be avoided.”
“The beginning was not very spectacular, then we came back, we controlled it well“
Madrid are in a commanding position with a 5-2 lead over Liverpool in their last-16 tie. However, Ancelotti warns that the quarter-final tie against Chelsea last year, where Madrid nearly lost despite a 3-1 first-leg lead, should be a lesson for them to not be complacent and take their foot off the gas.
“I think we had an experience last year with Chelsea where it was very difficult for us to get through despite the advantage,” he said at his post-match press conference.
“The fact is that we have an advantage, we are favorites, but we have to play 90 minutes with the same attitude as the first leg and with our best performance.
“We cannot hide the advantage, hopefully we will take advantage of it with a match at the top level. We can’t think about managing the result, the minutes… You have be at your best, like at Anfield.”
Carlo Ancelotti refused to comment on the allegations of corruption involving Barcelona that were announced ahead of Real Madrid’s match against Espanyol on Saturday.
The Madrid board had scheduled an urgent meeting on Sunday to discuss the matter, which involves alleged historic payments to a former refereeing official.
“Tomorrow I know there is a board meeting. I refer to the club on this issue,” Ancelotti said. “It’s important, but I prefer to focus on the next game.”