Sport Ancelotti maintains faith despite La Liga blow

Ancelotti maintains faith despite La Liga blow

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti believes his side can overcome a 2-1 deficit to reach the Champions League final against Juventus despite seeing their La Liga title hopes all but extinguished by a 2-2 draw with Valencia on Saturday.

The European champions are now four points behind league leaders Barcelona with just two games left to play and have to come from behind against Ancelotti’s old side at home on Wednesday to keep their season alive.

“We need to be positive and value how well we played in this match,” said the Italian.

“Our small errors are costing us dearly at the moment, but we need to have the cool head and confidence necessary to come back.”

Some poor defending allowed Paco Alcacer and Javi Fuego to give Valencia a 2-0 lead inside 25 minutes.

Madrid struck the woodwork through Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Javier Hernandez before Ronaldo also saw a penalty saved by Diego Alves on the stroke of half-time.

Alves produced another string of fine saves after the break, but the hosts did at least salvage a point through Pepe’s towering header and an excellent curling strike from Isco.

“There are two games to go, we need to win them, but obviously it is more difficult (to win the league),” said Ancelotti.

“The result isn’t good, but the performance was the complete opposite. We had a lot of chances, hit the post three times, missed a penalty, sometimes it just isn’t enough.

“We’ll take a lot of positives from the game and if we play like that on Wednesday it will go well.”

Ancelotti was also upbeat about Madrid’s injury problems ahead of the visit of the Italian champions in midweek.

Toni Kroos hobbled off midway through the first-half against Valencia, but Ancelotti is confident of having the German World Cup winner and the French international duo of Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane fit for Wednesday.

“Kroos had a knock in his hip, it didn’t seem like a muscular problem, so we are quite positive. The same goes for Karim.

“Varane had a fever during the night, so he was quite tired. Tomorrow he will be able to train normally.”

And Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal believes the atmosphere of a big European night at the Bernabeu will make the difference.

“We conceded twice on two attacks and that marked the course of the game. We were the better side, but two moments cost us the match. With a bit of luck we would have won, but you have to congratulate Diego Alves, who has won his side a point,” said the Spanish international.

“The fans were with us till the end, they never gave up. You will see a raucous Bernabeu (on Wednesday) that will give everything to go through.

“We are playing for our season and the Bernabeu will be the 12th man.”

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