Carlo Ancelotti: We have to be at our best to beat Bilbao

Carlo Ancelotti: We have to be at our best to beat Bilbao


Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has said his side needs to be on top form to beat Athletic Bilbao at San Mames tonight.

Los Blancos have the chance to move two points ahead of Barcelona in La Liga after the Catalans lost at home to Valencia on Saturday afternoon, and the Italian said he wants his side to keep performing as they did in January.

But Los Leones will be a tough nut to crack. Despite their defeat to Atletico de Madrid in the Copa del Rey during the week, they remain unbeaten in La Liga at their new home, having won nine of their eleven fixtures there to date. Only Valencia and Elche emerged with a point – even champions Barcelona were defeated there.

Speaking at his press conference ahead of the match, Ancelotti said: “Athletic are a great team, I like how they’re playing because they’re a dangerous team that plays really dynamic football. Valverde is doing a fantastic job. We’ll have to do our best. They’re an energetic team that gives their all. We’ve won a lot of matches in January and tomorrow we have to give 100% of everything, of energy, focus and good football. Athletic are one of the teams playing the best in Spain.”

He went on to add: “They’re a strong team and they don’t need to prove it. We have a period of important games ahead. January was a really good month and if we’re able to repeat what we did in January in February we can have a really important future.”

Follow Paul Collins on Twitter: @pabmundo