Madrid must forget Clasico defeat
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has urged his side to bounce back from their dramatic 4-3 defeat to Barcelona on Sunday as they return to La Liga action against Sevilla on Wednesday.
A first defeat in 32 league games saw Real usurped at the top of the table by Atletico Madrid due to their better head-to-head record against Real with Barca now just a point behind in third.
“We need to forget the game against Barcelona,” Ancelotti said in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
“The team trained well this morning and I think we will have the right attitude to go to Seville and try to win the game.”
In contrast to Real’s morale sapping defeat at the weekend, Sevilla come into the game in fine form as they have won five consecutive La Liga games and progressed to the quarterfinals of the Europa League with victory over local rivals Real Betis.
“It is a dangerous game because Sevilla are playing well. They are full of confidence after the derby.
“We have a chance to win thanks to the quality we have in the squad and we know it will be a very important game.”
Ancelotti, though, insisted that his side had played well against Barca and that there is no reason to doubt that they can go on to win the league.
“There is not an issue with looking for who is responsible or culpable for the defeat. This defeat came after many games in which we didn’t lose. That is football and the team is fine now as it was before the Barca game.
“We have the same number of points as Atletico and one more than Barcelona. Tomorrow’s game is what is important and we need to react well.”
A second league defeat of the season against Barca means that Real have now only taken one point from a possible 12 against the Catalans and Atletico this season.
However, Ancelotti defended his record against their title rivals, particularly in their most recent meetings with Atletico and Barca.
“Only once did we not compete well and that was against Atletico at home and maybe part of the first game against Barca, but in the last two games, away to Atletico and this game, it was very even. It is difficult to explain it because the games have been very evenly balanced.”
Real will have to do without the suspended Sergio Ramos and Angel di Maria for the trip to the Sanchez Pizjuan, so Raphael Varane is expected to return in defence with Isco or Asier Illarramendi replacing Di Maria in midfield.