Real Madrid: Three biggest mistakes made by Carlo Ancelotti against PSG

Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
1 of 3

It’s been more than 24 hours since Real Madrid‘s horrible defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League, and it has been difficult for the fans to get over the defeat. The scoreline of 1-0 in favour of the Parisians might make it look like a close contest, but in reality, it was a pathetic performance from Los Blancos.

Most of the outfield players couldn’t reach the expectations we have from them, and some of them failed very badly. There was no intensity from Real, and it looked like they were never in the competition. If there’s any Real Madrid player who didn’t deserve a defeat, it was Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian put in an excellent performance, pulling off some crucial saves and saving Leo Messi’s low penalty.

Carlo Ancelotti is expected to take some responsibility for this result, and he does deserve some criticism for this performance from his team. Well, a manager just selects the lineup, makes the substitutions, and instructs the players on what to do and how to play, and the rest is in the hands of the players. But some of Carlo Ancelotti’s mistakes were so blatant that they made the fans scratch their heads out of disgust, and they need to be talked about.

So let us have a look at three such mistakes from Carlo Ancelotti in the PSG match. Before we get started, I would like to make it clear that I’m not going to mention things like “exhaustion due to lack of rotation” in this article. Because there’s no point in talking about that when we’ve got used to this, and it’s clear that Ancelotti hasn’t learned from the mistakes he had committed in the 2014/15 season.

Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by Geert van Erven/BSR Agency/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by Geert van Erven/BSR Agency/Getty Images) /

1. Defensive mindset in one of the biggest games this season

In the recently released documentary on Amazon Prime, “Real Madrid – La Leyenda Blanca”, a lot of legends had mentioned how Real Madrid is all about winning, and how playing for Real Madrid is a way of living. And after watching our club all these years, we can understand why they said that.

But yesterday when we watched Real Madrid sit deep in their half against PSG, it felt like some mid-table club played in Paris and not the most successful team in the Champions League. We got to see a Real Madrid wanting to play for a draw, and not a win. We never got to witness the team with alpha-mentality we are used to, and instead got to watch a team that had shown zero intensity.

Even the stats suggest the same, with Real Madrid registering just 3 shots throughout the game, in comparison to PSG’s 21 shots. And according to OptaJose, it’s the club’s lowest figure in a Champions League club since the 2003/04 season.

The blame must go to the players for this terrible display. But it would be unfair to blame only the players, especially when all of them play with a defensive mindset, and the manager does deserve a lot of criticism for asking his players to be defensive. Carlo had deployed the tactics that are simply against what Real Madrid stands for.

We saw a shift in Ancelotti’s tactics from an ultra attacking scheme to a rather conservative scheme of late, but you can’t even label yesterday’s approach as a conservative one. Ancelotti might deny these claims in the press conference, but the result, the stats, and the quality of the chances created by both the teams speak for themselves.

And Ancelotti got his tactics absolutely wrong. He had admitted in front of the media that Real’s midfield, which is regarded as the best in Europe, couldn’t break through PSG’s press, and it clearly indicates a tactical failure from the Italian. PSG did play very well throughout the game, but with all due respect to them, Carlo Ancelotti and his men gave them too much control and made them look better than they actually are.