Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti accepts blame for Real Madrid's Clasico humbling

Tom Gott
Ancelotti admits he messed up
Ancelotti admits he messed up / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has accepted the blame for his team's shock 4-0 defeat to Clasico rivals Barcelona at the Bernabeu on Sunday.

Ancelotti's title favourites, who were without star striker Karim Benzema, were comprehensively mauled, with Barcelona netting four goals inside 22 minutes either side of half-time to kill the game.

Afterwards, Ancelotti urged fans not to overreact to the result but confessed that his tactics were to blame for the defeat.

“They played better than us, after they scored two goals it was almost impossible," the boss conceded. "It's not that difficult to explain. They have played better and have won.

"I tried to play a higher line and it didn't come off, that's my fault. I told the players that it's my fault, the coach's fault.

"It's tough because it's a Clasico, we're very sorry. It's a huge blow, we've lost a battle, but we have an advantage [in the league] and we have to be calm and recover. We don't have to make a drama out of this match. We're sorry. It's all gone wrong, but we have to forget it and look forward."

A lot of Real's problems stemmed from the absence of Benzema and Ancelotti's lack of trust in any of his other strikers. Star midfielder Luka Modric was pushed forward into a false nine role, and clearly, it didn't work.

"Modric's approach as a number 10 was to try and get the ball out from behind and find spaces for [Federico] Valverde, Rodrygo and Vinicius," Ancelotti explained. "It wasn't good. It didn't go well. I didn't get this one right.

"Barça played better than us. It's not a problem for me to take responsibility. Sometimes you're right, sometimes you're wrong. I've failed in this game, but I'm not making a big deal out of it. This doesn't sink us.

"We know that a Clasico is important, especially for the fans. We're sorry, but we have to continue and look forward. We have to be calm and balanced. We have to think that we still a nine-point lead [in the title race]."