Carlo Ancelotti has said that Real Madrid played “very badly” in their 1-0 Champions League defeat at Paris Saint-Germain this week, saying the team’s “image wasn’t good” and “criticism right now is justified.”
Kylian Mbappe scored a 94th minute winner for PSG at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday to leave Madrid needing to turn the round of 16 tie around in the second leg at the Bernabeu on March 9.
Sources told ESPN that senior figures at the LaLiga club were angry with how the team had performed in Paris, slamming Ancelotti’s defensive approach.
“The criticism right now is justified,” Ancelotti said in a news conference on Friday ahead of Real Madrid’s LaLiga game with Alaves.
“We did badly against PSG. The first critic is me. Our approach to the game wasn’t good and I have to take responsibility.
“I spoke to the president afterwards, and to the board. They are hurting like us. We are very honest, we played very badly. The image of Real Madrid wasn’t good, that is what hurts the most.”
Despite the way that PSG dominated the first leg — with Madrid failing to register a single shot on target — Ancelotti insisted that his team was still a threat in the tie, and in the competition.
“A 1-0 [loss] isn’t too bad. To be honest, the best thing about the game was the result,” he said. “We have never said we can win the European Cup but we’ve always said we can compete against any team. We competed, even playing badly, against one of the best teams in Europe. In three weeks we’ll compete even more.”
Mbappe’s match-winning display grabbed the headlines, and subsequent reports in France have suggested that PSG are set to offer the forward a contract that would make him the world’s best-paid player to convince him to resist Real Madrid’s long-term interest.
“Everyone can think what he wants,” Ancelotti said, when asked how Mbappe should decide his future.
“I’m paid a lot and I’m privileged, but what I like isn’t the money, it’s what I do… This club is always thinking about the future, every year you try to make the squad better, that will be [the case] next year too.”
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