Ancelotti defends selection decisions after Athletic Club defeat

Carlo Ancelotti has defended his selection decisions following Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey defeat to Athletic Club.

Los Blancos crashed out of the Copa at the quarter-final stage on Thursday night, losing 1-0 thanks to an Alejandro Berenguer winner just one minute from time.

Real Madrid put in a disappointing display, showing very little at the top end of the pitch.

And many have brought attention to Ancelotti’s selection decisions.

The Italian decided to play Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo despite the fact both players played on Wednesday for Brazil.

Not only that, but in the absence of star striker Karim Benzema, Ancelotti decided to play Asensio as a false nine, overlooking Luka Jovic.

Ancelotti made just two substitutions during the game and he still didn’t bring Jovic off the bench, only bringing on Isco in the forward line.

The likes of Jovic, Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard were left watching from the bench as Real Madrid slipped to defeat.

And Ancelotti has been questioned on the back of those decisions.

“Kroos came off to rest, like Vinicius,” he said in defence.

“I was thinking of changes in extra-time and there wasn’t time.

“Punishing players? I have nothing to say. There are no punishments.

“Ceballos, Vallejo…they are the same level of the others that haven’t player. One has to be fair.”

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