Losing 2-3 to Villarreal in the 28th round made Real seem to let go of the gun before Barcelona. Because it is likely that the gap between them will be widened to 15 points after Barcelona welcome Girona at Camp Nou in the latest round of 28 match on Monday morning.
This was a strange defeat for Real coming after two crunchy victories over Valladolid (6-0) and Barcelona (4-0), mainly because of Chukwueze’s stellar form. In fact, coach Carlo Ancelotti has changed the entire midfield of Real compared to the win against Barca.
Accordingly, the Italian leader launched Marco Asensio, Aurelien Tchouameni, and Dani Ceballos to replace Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Federico Valverde. In defense, only David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois featured in the starting line-up. And, Real started the game not bad.
However, overall, the Royal Spanish team did not have a good day and played without emotion. As Carletto himself admitted at his post-match press conference, Real struggled to recover the ball and the game lacked balance. That’s why they have 2 goals but conceded 3 times.
“It should also be emphasized that Villarreal controlled the ball well. We took the lead twice but couldn’t score the third and lost the match,” coach Ancelotti admitted after the game. However, the Italian military leader does not think that the home team “gives up” in La Liga. He emphasized, Real have 10 matches left and will fight to win as many points as possible. The loss to Villarreal was the result of Ancelotti changing too many key positions.
“Because the match against Barcelona had worn down the players’ fitness, I had to rotate the squad. I thought refreshing the starting force could be a good solution, but it didn’t go well, it didn’t go well. That’s one of the reasons why we lost the game,” added Carletto.
Ancelotti refused to talk about the championship race with Barca, but it is clear that Real accepted to surrender in La Liga, now they are only looking to the good land of the Champions League. There have been doubts around the defeat against Villarreal will adversely affect the spirit of Real players when they face Chelsea in the middle of this week.
However, coach Ancelotti has denied that. “No, this defeat did not affect our mood. To be honest, it was difficult for us to be 100% motivated against Villarreal. But Wednesday’s game will be completely different. In fact, we’re already thinking about next Wednesday. Everything that has happened has stayed behind,” coach Ancelotti emphasized.
So Chelsea should be careful when Ancelotti himself declares “we will make a change next Wednesday”. The past has proven many times that even when not in high form in domestic tournaments, Real still often shines in Europe’s No. 1 club-level playground. The 2021/22 season is a prime example.
Two consecutive pale matches against two weak average teams Cadiz and Betis in La Liga made fans doubt their ability to win the championship in the encounter with Liverpool in the Champions League final. However, it was Ancelotti’s teachers and students who were the last to laugh after defeating Liperpool with Vinicius’s only goal. It should be emphasized that, at that time, The Kop owned a series of 18 unbeaten matches, including 15 victories in all competitions.
Carletto defends Tchouameni
Before the comments that Arelien Tchouameni was not in good form because recently had to sit on the bench a lot, coach Ancelotti defended the French midfielder. “All the players are underperforming. I understand Arelien’s talent and always believe in him,” Ancelotti emphasized.