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Ancelotti praises derby draw

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti praised his players for battling to preserve the club's position at the top of the Primera Division after Atletico came close to completing an historic derby double.

Last Updated: 03/03/14 at 11:20 Post Comment

Carlo Ancelotti: Delighted with his side's battling nature

Carlo Ancelotti: Delighted with his side's battling nature

Karim Benzema opened the scoring at the Vicente Calderon but Koke and Gabi turned the game on its head with goals just before the break.

Real looked like suffering their second derby defeat of the season - it would have been a first Atletico double since 1951 - until Cristiano Ronaldo forced home an equaliser with eight minutes remaining.

Had Ancelotti's men not salvaged the 2-2 draw, Barcelona would have taken over at the top following their 4-1 home victory over Almeria, and Real's coach therefore cut a relieved figure.

He told the club's official website: "We drew a game that we were losing.

"The response was good and overall we can be satisfied because Atletico are a good team, particularly at home.

"We're top and that's good.

"A point is a point. It was a difficult match.

"We tried to play but it wasn't easy because Atletico played a very rough game. They tried to impose a violent game. We don't play like that.

"We tried to play and in the end we did it."

Real director Emilio Butragueno described the match as "electrifying" and felt Los Blancos could have won had Benzema and Ronaldo tucked away promising chances in the second half.

"It was an electrifying match," he said.

"In the first half, Atletico pressed very well. The match was being played more or less in the area of the field where they wanted it and we suffered a lot.

"They scored at the end of the first half, but in the second half, as the game progressed, we took control of the situation.

"We took possession of the ball and we could have won. There was a very dangerous header from Cristiano and a good chance for Benzema."

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A

nd we always will love Ozil. I don't really mind if no other team can see just how brilliant he is, or if people think he is rubbish, because we know he is far from it. He is a fantastic player, and if people cannot see that it can only be a good thing, in that he will be at Arsenal for years to come, pulling the strings from behind a glass veil.

ganachus
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

I

like the list and Ozil in particular does seem under appreciated when you look at his stats (an odd thing considering his fee or maybe because of it). Palace have a few and I've always thought Dwight Gayle at Palace was under rated, certainly when you look at his goals per game ratio. You can probably also add Ryan Bertrand at Saints who should be in the England team in my view.

sensiblepoolfan
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

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ew Shaun Wright Phillips, there I've said it. If any club offers stupid money we'd be stupid to say no, he's not a potential worldie by any stretch and I feel that after a few years warming the bench at city or Chelsea he'll be back at QPR smoking sheesha pipes under Harry Redknapp.

uncle monty
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