Senior figures at Real Madrid were angry with the image presented by the team in their 1-0 Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, sources told ESPN, with both manager Carlo Ancelotti and defender Dani Carvajal singled out for criticism.
Madrid were dominated by the home side throughout the game at the Parc des Princes and were unable to muster a single shot on target, with Mbappe a constant threat.
Sources told ESPN that club executives were unhappy with the team’s performance, the defensive approach adopted by Ancelotti and Carvajal’s efforts to contain Mbappe.
Ultimately, it was Madrid’s lack of a decisive, match-winning superstar like Mbappe that had made the difference, they said.
There is concern that the absences through suspension of midfielder Casemiro and left-back Ferland Mendy for the return leg at the Bernabeu on March 9 — after both picked up yellow cards in Paris — are significant blows to Madrid’s chances of turning the tie around.
Speaking after the first leg on Tuesday, coach Ancelotti said the team had “suffered in every aspect” as they struggled to cope with PSG’s pressing, describing Mbappe as “unstoppable.”
Casemiro said the team “lacked something on the counterattack” and had “misplaced a lot of passes” while goalkeeper Courtois was also frank in his assessment. He said the team “lost a really stupid ball” in the build-up to Mbappe’s goal.
“It’s very tough. We didn’t play well,” Courtois said. “But in the end it doesn’t change much. With no away goals rule, if we’d drawn we’d have to win [at the Bernabeu] anyway to go through.”
Sources close to the dressing room told ESPN that the team were hopeful of turning the tie around in the second leg and believed a 1-0 loss was in fact not a bad result, given how poorly they had played.
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