There is a way of understanding football at Real Madrid that has been tattooed on fire since each player sets foot in the Valdebebas sports city for the first time. A motto transferred to the field of play that has given epic victories, numerous titles and unexpected joy. Surely they know what it is, but it is better that Nacho reminds them, the youth squad player with the most years in the current squad of the Real Madrid: «It has a lot of merit to come back from the game with one less. It was a long match because they defended very well. We have represented the shield very well. Fight to the end, even in adversity.
Very few teams are capable of turning the scoreboard around with a player down, with the added pressure of doing so in overtime.
It could have been let go, it could have been entangled in the questionable expulsion of Marcelo, or angry about the rebound goal just after that painful red card, as the vast majority of clubs in the world would have done, but Real Madrid is special. So much so that he came back from 1-0 to Elche with goals from Isco and Hazard, two evicted footballers who hit the table last night and joined the cause.
«Very happy for Isco y Hazard, who have not had many minutes, but they were there. It has a meaning to win like that. The game of the season that gives me the most happiness. The team has shown humility, character and a lot of strength. He has never given up and this is the best part of the match. The character of this team and of these players must be highlighted”, reflected Ancelotti, proud of how they qualified. “The entire squad is important. Today players appear who play less and give us the classification. Of course he has a point of vindication, ”Nacho argued.
has thrown the Cup. It is usually the easy resource to justify an eleven or a match in the KO tournament of a top team, such as Real Madrid, but this is not the case with Ancelotti, who, as against Alcoyano, put an absolute eleven on the green guarantee. His only two concessions in the cup competition are being Lunin, instead of Courtois, and Marcelo, occupying Mendy’s usual place. Where the vast majority of coaches see the right moment in the calendar to give their usual players a break, Ancelotti sees a nice opportunity to fight for a title. What was not in Carletto’s plans was to add 30 more minutes of football to a roadmap without gaps, but if the final result is positive, it is soon forgotten: «I knew that it could be a long game and that, also, we had to think about overtime and penalties. I told the team that we needed to be prepared for all kinds of matches,” revealed Carletto.
Isco, tails and heads
The game left Ancelotti with a tactical decision not seen this season. The absence of Benzema, the only available starter that left the Italian in Madrid, plus Mariano’s loss due to injury, meant that Jovic was the only nine available. 80 discreet minutes from the Serbian, with hardly any participation, encouraged Carletto to place Isco as a false nine. The Andalusian made a very serious mistake at the start of the 1-0 play, sinning too much in an individual duel in the rival area that generated the counterattack that ended with Marcelo in the shower before time.
He redeemed himself with the equalizer, his first goal of the season. Hazard, also unprecedented this year, completed the comeback. A huge joy, but not complete if the look is thrown to the quarterfinals. There, the Real Madrid You will not be able to count on the South American internationals for the matches of your national teams. “The calendar is nonsense. It has to change,” said Ancelotti.