Carlo Ancelotti takes aim at Barcelona for ‘strange’ display and claims they ‘didn’t deserve to win’

‘Barcelona didn’t deserve to win and that’s obvious!’: Carlo Ancelotti takes aim at El Clasico rivals for ‘strange’ defensive performance after Real Madrid were beaten 1-0 in Copa del Rey semi-final first leg

Carlo Ancelotti was far from impressed by Barcelona’s defensive performance during Real Madrid’s 1-0 defeat to their El Clasico rivals on Thursday night.

The feisty first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final was decided by a first-half Eder Militao own goal after Thibaut Courtois had parried Franck Kessie’s strike straight into the helpless defender.

Real Madrid failed to register a single shot on target, and and although Ancelotti admitted the result ‘hurt’, he remains confident that the LaLiga champions can turn the tie around when the teams meet again at the Nou Camp in just over two weeks.

Despite Barcelona putting in a strong defensive display at the daunting Bernabeu, Ancelotti was left perplexed by their rivals’ approach to the game.

Speaking after defeat, Ancelotti said: ‘Barcelona didn’t deserve to win and that’s obvious. This defeat will not cause any after-effects because we are satisfied with our performance. 

Carlo Ancelotti claims that Barcelona did not deserve to win the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final

Barcelona beat Real Madrid 1-0 at the Bernabeu thanks to a first-half own goal from Eder Militao

Barcelona beat Real Madrid 1-0 at the Bernabeu thanks to a first-half own goal from Eder Militao

‘It’s very difficult to control the game against Barcelona as we did today. We are aware that we have to come back, but it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve come from behind in a tie. We’re hurt by the result, but we will go into the second leg confidently.

‘It was strange to see Barcelona play like that. They are very solid at the back and haven’t conceded many goals. 

‘They defend very well and are committed to their duties. They closed their lines brilliantly, crossing the ball into the box isn’t what we want to be doing’. 

Ancelotti hailed his side for dominating possession but admitted that they did not have many good chances.

‘If we replicate that intensity, we’ll have the chances to turn the tie around. I doubt that Barcelona will set up quite so defensively at the Camp Nou,’ he added. 

‘We started and finished the game well. They scored against us due to an individual mistake and a counter, a rebound.’

Real Madrid came into the latest El Clasico clash as favourites with Barcelona on the back of two defeats – and without their three top scorers Roberto Lewandowski, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele.

But it was the Catalan giants who triumphed and they will be hoping to book their place in the Copa del Rey final when the sides meet again.

Ancelotti claimed it was 'strange' to see Barcelona play the way they did, citing their defensive approach

Ancelotti claimed it was ‘strange’ to see Barcelona play the way they did, citing their defensive approach

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