Carlo Ancelotti bemoaned Real Madrid’s weak mentality after a 1-1 draw at Real Valladolid severely dented his team’s title hopes. “We’ve lost control but I don’t think it has been a lack of attitude,” the Italian said in his post-game press conference. “I thought we defended too far back and we conceded from a dead ball. Some things have failed us in the last two games, especially mental energy. That has failed us in the last two games.” He added: “It’s very difficult to win the league but it’s not mathematically over. We have to try to win the last two games but it’s hard.”
With two games left to play, Real is third in the La Liga table, four points behind leader Atletico Madrid, which must travel to second-place Barcelona on the final day of the season. While Atletico could win the title with two points from its final two matches, Barcelona could wrest the trophy away from Diego Simeone’s men with two victories in its final two games. Real, meanwhile, needs to win both of its last two games, and hope that Atletico takes just one point from its final two games and Barca just four, in order to be crowned Spanish champion.
During Wednesday’s game, Madrid, which was already without the injured Gareth Bale, lost Cristiano Ronaldo to a muscle injury in the 9th minute. It would also lose Angel Di Maria to a more serious muscle injury as well as defender Pepe later on. When asked if his team should now simply focus on the UEFA Champions League final with Atletico on May 24, Ancelotti replied: “We have days to prepare for the final but I see a tired team physically. After the semifinal it’s not been easy to recover energy quickly. That’s important, especially in this part of the season.”