Liga - Ancelotti: Copa del Rey tie not over

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti insists the Copa del Rey tie with Espanyol is far from over after the first-leg.

Madrid won 1-0 at Cornella-El Prat with a Karim Benzema goal separating the sides but Iker Casillas had to be alert to make a number of saves to maintain the advantage, setting a new personal record of 592 minutes without conceding.

Speaking to reports after the game, Ancelotti praised Casillas, explained why he named a very strong side and warned of the dangers of thinking the match is over.

“In the quarter-finals of the cup you have put out your best team and not hold back,” Ancelotti said.

“In the second-half Espanyol improved and made us suffer a little.

“But this is normal. The game is still open.

“It was only in the last 20 minutes that Espanyol pressed. But we played well, recovered well and showed our quality.

“We kept a clean sheet and I’m happy. We had many chances and in the end we were almost embarrassed, if that makes sense.”

Ancelotti was asked about the performance of Casillas and the fight with Diego Lopez to be first choice, with the Italian admitting he finds it hard to choose between the two goalkeepers.

“I want to congratulate Casillas because he is doing very well.

“Iker is first choice and so is Diego Lopez.”

Gareth Bale was another player discussed specifically by Ancelotti after the former Tottenham winger again played on the right wing.

“All the players did well and played to their best.

“That includes Bale. He has no problems playing on the right. He knows how to do it since he’s played there in the past.”

Read the original article on Football Espana - The ultimate website for English-speaking fans of Spanish football