Carlo Ancelotti reveals he tactically OUTWITTED Thomas Tuchel by playing Federico Valverde on the wing to ‘tighten up’ Chelsea’s left-hand side… insisting the Real Madrid midfielder’s entire game ‘depended’ on Cesar Azpilicueta’s position
- Federico Valverde started ahead of Rodrygo on the right wing for Real Madrid
- Thomas Tuchel meanwhile replaced Marcos Alonso with Cesar Azpilicueta
- Carlo Ancelotti revealed he played Valverde to tighten up Chelsea’s left side
- He also said the Uruguayan’s position depended on that of Spaniard Azpilicueta
- REPORT: Real Madrid take full control of quarter-final tie against Chelsea
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has revealed how using midfielder Federico Valverde on the right wing was vital to him outwitting Thomas Tuchel in their win against Chelsea.
The Uruguay international was selected ahead of Rodrygo in the Madrid front three and helped along with hat-trick hero Karim Benzema and left-winger Vinicius Junior to create plenty of problems for the Blues.
German boss Tuchel meanwhile made a change on the left-hand side of his defence from the side that lost 4-1 to Brentford, replacing Marcos Alonso with captain Cesar Azpilicueta at left-wing back.
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti (L) has revealed how he got the better of Thomas Tuchel (R)
Ancelotti deployed Federico Valverde (C) on the right wing in their 3-1 win at Chelsea
But the Spaniard failed to provide much width in an unnatural position, which Ancelotti said he managed to exploit and get the better of his German counterpart tactically through Valverde.
The 23-year-old himself was not playing in his traditional position in central winger but has proved a useful option on the wing for Madrid.
‘We played with the same system, but I put Valverde in to tighten up Chelsea’s left wing a bit,’ the Italian said after the game via Real Madrid’s official website.
‘Valverde did really well. It all depended on Azpilicueta’s position. If he stayed back, Valverde moved forward.
Meanwhile, Tuchel changed his left-hand side with Cesar Azpilicueta (R) playing wing-back
‘I talk to the players about football, I understand what they think and what they’d like. Then I’m the one who takes the decisions. Sometimes I’m right, and sometimes I’m not.’
The Italian meanwhile admitted star striker Benzema is ‘getting better every day – just like a fine wine’ after his hat-trick put Los Blancos in complete control of their Champions League quarter-final tie.
Benzema took his startling season’s tally to 37 goals in 36 games in all competitions with another three-goal showing following his hat-trick against PSG in the last 16.
The 34-year-old Real captain now boasts hat-tricks in successive Champions League matches and also 13 goals in his last seven Madrid games in all competitions.
And Ancelotti insisted Valverde (R) ‘tightened’ up the Blues left and that his game depended on the Spaniard (L)
‘Karim Benzema is getting better every day; just like a fine wine,’ said Real coach Ancelotti.
‘He’s more of a leader every day, he feels more and more important in this team and this squad. And I think that’s what makes the difference.
‘He has so much more personality, he knows he’s a very important player for us and he’s an example for everyone.
‘I think the most important thing was the bravery that the players showed. The key was that we brought the ball out from the back very well, we were able to get between the lines and Vinicius and Karim Benzema were very dangerous. Both of them linked up very well.’
Ancelotti also lauded Karim Benzema (L) after his hat-trick put Los Blancos in complete control