Carlo Ancelotti attended the press after tonight’s loss to Barcelona:
“In the end we suffered a slight lack of cool heads in our efforts to equalise. We played too many long balls without a clear idea. It was a good hour, and 30 minutes that weren’t so good. We have to continue with this idea because the team has improved a lot. It’s difficult to say whether the best team won”.
“We were the better side for the first hour and in the last 30 minutes Barcelona’s counter-attack was devastating. They won and in the end both teams deserved something. Barcelona have a four-point lead, but we’ll offer no let-up”.
“The league isn’t over. Barcelona have a lead, as we did before. Anything can happen in football. It’s more difficult, but we’re not going to prioritise the Champions League. The priority is La Liga and the Champions League”.
The account the team gave of itself
“It’s better to give a good account of yourselves in your play, which is what was wrong in recent games. We can take it from there and take confidence for the coming games in La Liga and the Champions League. I’m not happy with the result. We have to get the team playing for the whole match as it did in the first hour”.
“We had chances, but we were unlucky. When a team is so balanced and takes the lead, it has an advantage because then it can enjoy playing on the counter. It wasn’t a physical problem, but a mental one. We tried to turn it around but not with the same idea of play as the first hour. We looked for more complicated ideas”.
System of play
“We played as we always do. We tried to have two banks of four in defence. Bale dropped back to defend and then we attacked with three forwards. Like us, they have good solutions on dead-ball situations. Then Suárez looks for just enough space and uses his ability to score. I don’t think their goals were defensive errors”.
Praise for Cristiano Ronaldo
“Cristiano Ronaldo played a very complete match. He worked hard and was always dangerous up front. He shot dangerously, he hit the woodwork… It was the same Cristiano as always”.
The central midfielders
“Both worked a lot in defence and attack. Modric and Kroos were very important. Maybe at the end they were a bit tired”.