Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti explains tactical shift that undid Manchester City

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti seemed pleased with his side following their 3-3 draw with Manchester City on Tuesday night, but it does mean that they will have to look for a win away from home at Manchester City. Before the match, Pep Guardiola had remarked that he felt Ancelotti was an excellent tactical manager, and so he proved.

“The reflection is that it was a very good match on our part, even and competitive while we had the energy to press high. We started very badly with a goal against, but then we stole many balls and looked for transition,” said Ancelotti....For More CONTINUE THE FULL READING▶▶

“Afterwards it was a little more complicated. We had the opportunity to go 3-1, they scored two great goals and we had to go for the equaliser. Now we have a small disadvantage due to playing away, but with the confidence that we can repeat the game we played here.”

The major tactical shift that Ancelotti put into place was using Vinicius Junior more centrally, and putting Rodrygo Goes on the left, thus shifting Jude Bellingham to more central role. It worked wonders for much of the much, with Los Blancos creating numerous chances from the left side.

“Yes, in the second goal it was a perfect play, combining spectacularly with Vinicius. There, on the left, we could create chances and we did it. In the second half it left Vini alone. I leave satisfied.”

Asked what he was looking for, Ancelotti explained that he wanted to continue Rodrygo’s good form.

I was looking to continue the good streak that Rodrygo is on, what he did against Athletic. It didn’t change anything for Vini to play a little more inside. They have done very well, they have worked a lot. I really liked the team, especially the interpretation of the game, the courage and the personality. For as long as we had the energy to press, we did very well.”

Before the match, his major criticism of his players from last season was a lack of personality. He also explained that defensively they switched things up too.

“We put in place a different game than what we usually do. We rarely go to press one against one. When you go down a little, you have to delay the block a little and take advantage of the transitions, which could have gone better,” Ancelotti told Diario AS.

Rodrygo has noted on numerous occasions that his preferred position is on the left, although he is happy to play elsewhere. As much as Ancelotti perhaps wanted to take advantage of the good form of the Brazilian, he took on a role that meant shifting Bellingham. The latter has just three goals in 2024, and normally starts on the left side, but his lack of production in front of goal perhaps persuaded Ancelotti to change things.

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Kylian Walterlin

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