Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti was forced to reject suggestions that his team is in crisis following Los Blancos’ 2-0 first-leg loss at rival Atletico Madrid in the Spanish King’s Cup round of 16 on Wednesday. The loss was Real’s third in a row, following a 2-1 defeat at Valencia in the league last weekend and a 4-2 loss against Serie A club AC Milan in a friendly the week before. It was also Ancelotti’s third consecutive defeat to Diego Simeone’s Atletico, a team the Italian has never beaten.
“Crisis? That’s a bit much,” Ancelotti said, alluding to the 22-game winning streak in competitive matches his team had compiled prior to the loss against Valencia. “We’re not happy with these two games,” he added. “We have to earn a win again soon.”
Asked what went wrong, the former Milan coach said: “In the last part of the match we didn’t do well. In the first half with more control, we needed more efficiency and depth. There were a lot of sideways passes.” Ancelotti also underlined how “Atletico defend very well, always defending together.”
He noted that Simeone’s men would now be the favorite to progress to the quarterfinal: “We have a chance, but not much. Atletico have the advantage. We have to give our all.” The second-leg of the two-game series will be at Real’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium next Thursday.