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Ancelotti calm despite Cup draw

English.news.cn   2013-12-08 19:37:57            

MADRID, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Real Madrid were involved in one of the few minor upsets in the first leg of the Copa del Rey knockout competition on Saturday night when they were only able to draw their match 0-0 away to Olimpic de Xativa.

Although he rested players such as Xabi Alonso, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale, while Cristiano Ronaldo was suspended, Ancelotti fielded a side that contained Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas, Karim Benzema and gave a chance to youngsters Jese Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata.

However, although his side were stronger in the second half against a side which plays two divisions below them and contains some semi-professional footballers, Real Madrid were unable to find a breakthrough and will have to wait until the return leg in order to assure their progress.

Ancelotti was unworried by the result and admitted as much in the packed press room in Xativa in the early hours of Sunday morning, expressing confidence that his side would progress in front of their own fans.

"I'm not worried that we didn't score, this team scores a lot of goals, and we will try and score in our next game," said Ancelotti, who was content at keeping a clean sheet.

"We played well in defence, we had balance and I don't think we played badly. I go home satisfied," he commented

Saturday's papers saw stories that winger Angel di Maria would abandon the club to join Monaco when the transfer window opens in January and the Argentinean fuelled the flames when he asked to be substituted early in the second half, although the Real Madrid coach insisted he made the change for physical reasons, while denying the winger would be moving.

"He asked me to take him off because he was feeling problems in his calf. At half-time I asked him to keep going for another 10 minutes so that Benzema could warm up and then I substituted him. He hasn't spoken about his future, he is happy and he's going to stay at Real Madrid," said Ancelotti.

Meanwhile Real Madrid's plans have suffered a slight setback with the news that young defender Rafael Varene will have to rest until the end of the year in order to try and cure a problem which causes his knee to become inflamed after excessive work.

Editor: Shen Qing
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