Carlo Ancelotti: The semi-final isn’t over yet

Carlo Ancelotti: The semi-final isn’t over yet


Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has warned his players the Copa del Rey semi-final isn’t over yet, despite the thumping 3-0 win over city rivals Atletico de Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Los Blancos take the big lead to the Vicente Calderon next week thanks to goals from Pepe, Jese and Angel di Maria. But the Italian urged his players not to be complacent and allow Los Rojiblancos back into the tie.

“The result is very good and the match was too, but we have to be careful. We have to do the same in the second leg, but it will not be easy because Atlético Madrid will do their best to turn things around. We have to prepare well for the match, like we did for tonight’s,” he told journalists at a press conference after the game.

Ancelotti expressed his delight at the way in which his team played, and for beating a side that had lost to twice in a row at the Bernabeu. Speaking about the Copa del Rey match compared with the La Liga clash, which Atletico won 1-0 back in September, the Italian stated: “A lot has changed, we are playing more naturally, the team is more compact and playing together better. The players have been working very hard and today they had a good match. The loss in La Liga hurt us and we had the awareness to do things better this time.”

The manager also confirmed Gareth Bale will be available for selection against Villarreal at the weekend and had just been rested for the Copa del Rey game as he will need to step up and cover the absence of Ronaldo in the next three La Liga games. Speaking about the Portuguese’ suspension, Ancelotti stated: “No one is happy about it. Not being able to play for three matches is not normal. That is why we appealed. It would be normal for him to have the suspension reduced because three matches for what he did is not normal.”