Real Madrid won by 2-1 against Ludogorets on Wednesday but Carlo Ancelotti was not happy with their performance. He said that Madrid must improve its set piece defending to have any chance of progressing into the later stages of the tournament.
Ludogorets surprised everybody by taking the early lead against Real Madrid but Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema rescued the Los Blancos by scoring a goal in each half. But Real Madrid defenders did not look comfortable in their corner marking and Carlo Ancelotti admitted that this area needs immediate improvement.
“We had many chances to score,” the Real Madrid coach told Canal+ in his post match interview. “I am satisfied, the start for us was not good, to concede a goal from a corner again, that might have complicated things.
“But the reaction from us was good. The team played with good attacking nous and are physically very fit in this period. We had many chances and we could have scored again at the end. We won with merit.
“We must continue to work to fix our corner problem. It’s the same type of goal we conceded against Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad. There should be better coverage at the near post, for instance. We are paying attention to this, though.”
Real Madrid started the game against Ludogorets without regular starters like Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez. But coach Carlo Ancelotti justified his decision of dropping these regulars by claiming that it was necessary to boost the confidence of the likes of Isco, Asier Illaramendi and Javier Hernandez by giving them the opportunity. Ancelotti also said that Cristiano Ronaldo’s knock is not a measure issue.
“I wanted to rest Karim, who has played a lot so far,” Ancelotti said. “Chicharito had a good game, he did not score but his performance was good.
“The first reason for the changes was to give rest to some who have played a lot like Kroos, James and Karim. The other reason is to motivate Isco, Illarra, James and all the staff.
“Cristiano has only a bruised ankle, I don’t think it’s anything serious. He’s a bit sore, but nothing serious.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool were defeated by FC Basel and Ancelotti said that he is surprised by the result. “It is rather surprising, the Liverpool result, but this is the Champions League, all games are tough and you have to fight for your place in the competition. But the group is looking good for us.”