Carlo Ancelotti says watching defensive Barcelona is ‘strange’ after Real Madrid’s defeat

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 02: : FC Barcelona players celebrate following the Copa Del Rey Semi Final Leg One match between Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 02, 2023 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Barcelona have a slender 1-0 advantage in their Copa del Rey semi-final tie against Real Madrid (Getty)

Carlo Ancelotti believes it was ‘strange’ to see Barcelona play so defensively in their 1-0 win against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey on Thursday evening.

Eder Militao’s first-half own goal sealed the victory for Barcelona in the first leg of their semi final at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Madrid, meanwhile, failed to register a shot on target as Barcelona produced an impressive defensive display against the Spanish champions.

And Ancelotti feels Barcelona’s performance moved away from their usual attacking style.

‘It’s been a bit strange to see them [Barcelona] play like this,’ Ancelotti said of Barcelona after Madrid’s defeat.

‘But they have been very solid, they have a collective commitment, and they have closed all the lines very well.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Alberto Gardin/LiveMedia/Shutterstock (13790311ah) Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid) and Gavi (Barcelona) arguing each other during the football match between
Real Madrid and Barcelona valid for the semifinal of the ??oeCopa del Rey??? Spanish cup celebrated in Madrid, Spain at Bernabeu stadium on Thursday 02 March 2023 Spanish Cup soccer match Real Madrid vs Barcelona, Bernabeu stadium, Madrid, Spain - 02 Mar 2023
Vinicius Junior clashed with Gavi during Real Madrid’s defeat to Barca (Shutterstock)

‘Having to attack them with crosses is not the best thing to do, as I said before. And they have led us to that.’

When asked if he felt Barca deserved to beat Madrid, Ancelotti replied: ‘No, it’s pretty obvious.

‘There have hardly been any occasions. I think it’s been one of our best games defensively all season.’

Meanwhile, Xavi believes Madrid are still favourites to progress to the final despite their defeat to Barca.

‘The 1-0 win gives us a certain advantage,’ Xavi said after the game.

‘But we are going to have to compete very well against a very strong Real Madrid side. I still see Madrid as a favourite.’



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