‘Barcelona didn’t want to play’ – Carlo Ancelotti convinced of second-leg turnaround for Madrid


Real Madrid lost to Barcelona Thursday, but Carlo Ancelotti was feeling buoyant afterwards as he looked ahead to next month’s second leg.

Carlo Ancelotti is convinced Real Madrid have the firepower to overturn their 1-0 Copa del Rey semi-final first-leg defeat to a Barcelona side he suggests did not want to play.

Barca claimed victory at the Santiago Bernabeu on Thursday to take a slim advantage in next month’s second leg at the Camp Nou.

The decisive goal came in the 26th minute when Franck Kessie’s shot was covered by Thibaut Courtois before Eder Militao headed over.

Madrid were otherwise largely dominant with Barca enjoying just 35.3 percent of possession – their lowest share of possession in a single game since Opta Records began (2013-14 season).

It was also only the third time since the start of last year that Barca had less than 50 percent possession in a match.

Ancelotti was unimpressed by Barca’s performance and remains confident Madrid will reach the final, despite Los Blancos failing to manage a single shot on target for only the third time in a decade.

“The team played well,” he told reporters. “Barcelona played as if they didn’t want to play.

“We didn’t do well in the last third. Defeat hurts, but if we do the same in the second game, we have a chance to advance.

“We played the game we have to play: we pressed, we played with intensity. We missed a goal but they didn’t do anything for it. They were lucky with the rebound. We have 90 minutes [to turn it around].”

He added: “We lost but we didn’t deserve to lose. But in 90 minutes we can score in Barcelona.”

Despite the obvious frustration in his voice, Ancelotti was undoubtedly impressed with how Madrid managed to control most of the game, forcing Barca to play mostly on the edge of their own half.

“It’s a very bad result, undeserved, but it was a well-played game with intensity and commitment from our side.

“We didn’t let Barca play the way they wanted. They had a very low block, not because they wanted to, but because we forced them to.

“It was difficult to have opportunities, we tried from outside, but they have great defenders and they caused us problems in the crosses.

“It was hard to find space. They were very closed. I have nothing to complain about. I’m very happy and I’m very excited to do the same in the second game.”

“They have the advantage but we have all the confidence in the world to be able to [turn it around].”

The second leg is at the Camp Nou on April 5.

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