Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti can’t explain his side’s struggles against Atletico Madrid this season.
To this point, the Madrid clubs have faced off against each other six times in all competitions, with Real failing to secure a victory over their city rivals (four losses and two draws).
Atletico defeated Real to take home the Spanish Supercopa at the beginning of the season, knocked them out of the Copa del Rey and defeated Los Blancos in both of their league matches.
Speaking ahead of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday, Ancelotti found it hard to explain why the defending European and world champions were having such difficulties against their Madrid rivals.
“I don’t think it’s a problem with the system, whether we play 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3,” Ancelotti said.
“Every game has its problem and every game has its idea. Each defeat was different: dead ball play, lack of attitude… They were wholly different games. It’s hard to say what has happened. We have analyzed it.
“We know that there will be two matches. We don’t need to win. We could draw both games and qualify.
“We have to be compact, together for the full 90 minutes and with the character and bravery that this kind of match requires.”
Ancelotti then praised his counterpart Diego Simeone while giving his evaluation of Atletico Madrid’s style of play.
“He’s a great coach and has shown this in many ways,” the manager added. “He’s one of the best in the world and it’s an honor to come up against him, but at the same time it’s a problem too.
“[Atletico] are a tricky rival, a strong team defensively and a team we have maximum respect for. They battle from the first minute.”
The Real Madrid boss was then asked if his club was obsessed with beating their city rivals after suffering defeat against them so many times this season.
“We’re not obsessed with Atletico,” Ancelotti concluded. “We are obsessed with getting through to the semi-final of the competition. Our objective is not to eliminate Atletico, but to win our eleventh European cup.”
Programming note: Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid will be shown LIVE on Tuesday at 2:45pm EST on FOX Sports 1 and FoxSoccer2Go.
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