Carlo Ancelotti plans to continue rotating with all eyes on Champions League final


Carlo Ancelotti intends to continue to revolve around Real Madrid in their remaining LaLiga matches focusing on the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Madrid were beaten 1-0 by arch-rivals Atletico Madrid in El Derbi on Sunday after making seven changes to their win over Manchester City in Europe during the week.

While the men of Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior were brought in in the second half, Karim Benzema and Thibaut Courtois sat on the bench at Wanda Metropolitano.

Los Blancos have already clinched the title and can cut and change with three LaLiga releases coming ahead of their May 28 match against Liverpool.

Ancelotti’s side will host Levante on Thursday and end their home campaign against Cadiz and Real Betis.

Asked if he would continue to make changes to his squad, the Italian coach told Movistar: “Yes, the lesser players today will play on Thursday.

“But the team that will play against Betis will be the team that will play in the [Champions League] final. The goal is to reach the finals for everyone present.

“We are still looking forward to the competition, playing with a lot of energy and good rhythm. For the second half today the rhythm was good.”

Madrid’s defeat was the first against neighboring Atletico in 12 games in all competitions since 2018.

The visitors shot 15 shots against Atleti, six of which were targeted – only Cadiz who have tested the goalkeeper several times in LaLiga this season without scoring (nine).

Yannick Carrasco’s penalty just before the break showed the difference for Atleti, who finished the game with an expected goal (xG) of 2.33 compared to 1.26 of Madrid.

“It was a good, competitive game,” added Ancelotti. “We played very well in the second half and we couldn’t ask for more in the next game.

“I really didn’t expect anything from us.”

The Atletico penalty kick was awarded two minutes after Jesus Vallejo dropped Matthews Cunha in the box, the VAR instructing referee Cesar Soto Grado to watch the guard on the sidelines.

That was Los Rojiblancos’ first goal against Madrid in LaLiga since Diego Forlan converted from 12 yards in March 2010.

Surprisingly Ancelotti was not asked about the controversial incident and joked “do not talk about fines” when he left the post-match press conference.

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