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Carlo Ancelotti defends his tactics after Madrid derby defeat

Carlo Ancelotti defends his tactics after Madrid derby defeat

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti dismissed doubts about his team and tactical set-up on Tuesday after they fell to their first defeat of the season in the Madrid derby.

Los Blancos won their first six gamesfive in La Liga and one in the Champions League, but were comfortably beaten 3-1 by rivals Atletico Madrid on Sunday at the Metropolitano.

The loss allowed champions Barcelona to reclaim top spot in La Liga, with the Catalans in action at Mallorca later Tuesday, while Real Madrid welcome Las Palmas on Wednesday.

“I have to evaluate things with balance. Equilibrium is important. Luckily, I have that in my genes.  Putting everything in doubt when you’ve won six games out of seven, it seems a bit rash,” Ancelotti told a news conference.

The coach said Madrid needed to be self-critical after stumbling against Atletico but that he had made “a different evaluation” to many of his critics. “When you are Real Madrid coachcriticism is normal when things don’t go well, it’s something that doesn’t affect me,” said Ancelotti.

“That said, you have to look self-critically at what we did well, which was a lot of things, and what we did badly, which was not much.”

One of the areas of debate surrounding Madrid was Ancelotti’s diamond midfield, which against Atletico saw Jude Bellingham pushed up front with Rodrygo Goes, while Luka Modric and Toni Kroos started.

The system is not perfect. Every system has its weakness. It allows us to be energetic and press high up the pitch, but sometimes we can be caught out from crosses because the midfielders don’t arrive to cover in time. The weakness is evident, and it can be fixed,” admitted the coach.

Some Spanish media reports have suggested Ancelotti could be replaced with Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso, who won the Champions League with Real as a player. “He has great knowledge and the capacity to do it. I hope heRaul and (Alvaro) Arbeloa can be Madrid coaches one day because I like them a lot,” said Ancelotti.

The Italian has agreed to coach the Brazilian national team after his contract expires at the Santiago Bernabeu next summer. Ancelotti also confirmed Brazilian winger Vinicius Junior was fitafter a stomach problem prevented his return from a hamstring injury against Atletico on Sunday.

Summer arrival Arda Guler, however, will miss out. Soon after Ancelotti’s news conference, during which he said Guler was fit, Madrid confirmed that he had suffered a new thigh injury, with Spanish reports saying he could be sidelined for three to four weeksMadrid beat Barcelona to the signing of 18-year-old Turkish playmaker Guler in the summer from Fenerbahce, but he is yet to make his debut for the club after suffering a knee injury in pre-season.


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Samuel Kwame Boadu