Real Madrid: Ranking the 5 best games of Carlo Ancelotti’s first term

Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Jese Rodriguez
Real Madrid, Jese Rodriguez (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /

Carlo Ancelotti has returned to Real Madrid to replace the outgoing Zinedine Zidane as Real Madrid’s manager. He had a brilliant first term in which he won the elusive La Decima, and also won Real Madrid’s 19th Copa del Rey title.

Though some unfortunate circumstances led to his sacking, his first stint was a great one, and Real Madrid played a superb brand of attacking football under him.

In his first stint, he became the Real Madrid manager with the highest win rate by winning 89 out of 119 games between 2013 and 2015, at a rate of 74.79%.

After witnessing such a memorable spell at Real Madrid, the expectations on his second spell will be definitely high. So let us have a look at the five best games of his first stint, to remind ourselves of the genius of ‘Don’ Carlo.

5. 3-0 win against Atletico Madrid, Copa Del Rey Semi-finals

Real Madrid hadn’t won the Copa Del Rey for almost 20 years before Jose Mourinho led them to the trophy in 2010/11. From that season, Real Madrid started taking the Copa more seriously and the increase in intensity was clearly visible. In 2012/13 Real Madrid came close to another success, but was defeated by their local rivals Atletico Madrid in the final, won the game 2-1 with an extra-time winner.

The manager changed, the methods changed, but the rivalry didn’t change. And Real Madrid got a chance to seek their revenge against their bitter rivals, after being drawn against Los Rojiblancos in the semi-finals of 2013/14. Real Madrid’s form against Atletico was a bit concerning, as they had lost the previous two outings against them. But this time, they didn’t let the opportunity slip away, as they won the first-leg in style, defeating Atleti 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu

It wasn’t exactly an attacking masterclass from Carlo Ancelotti, as two of those three goals were own goals, with Pepe and Angel Di Maria’s shots from distance being deflected into Courtois’ goalpost by Insua and Miranda respectively. But Ancelotti’s men dominated their noisy neighbors, and also answered Atletico’s dirty tactics in their own way.

Atletico was highly physical, and they never left an opportunity to provoke Real Madrid’s players. Their antics even increased after the first goal, with players getting more physical and diving for fouls, especially Diego Costa. The Spanish striker was in some mood that day, as he went around kicking around, pushing the players, and then diving for penalties.

But Sergio Ramos, Pepe, and Alvaro Arbeloa gave Costa a taste of his own medicine, and they started playing with him both physically and mentally. This domination gave them a mental edge, as Costa would be completely silenced for the rest of the night while being toyed around by Real’s backline. And Atleti’s intentions took a hit after Jese’s clever finish in the 57th minute, following an out-of-the-world through ball assist from ‘The Angel’.

This was Ancelotti’s first big game win in Spain, and Real Madrid dominated it in superb fashion, reminding Spain of the power of the club.  Real Madrid also went onto win the second leg by 2-0 at the Vicente Calderon filled with hostility, with a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo. This completed a 5-0 drubbing of Atletico Madrid, as Real Madrid got their revenge and went on to bash them for another time in the season, at an even bigger stage.