3 Things Carlo Ancelotti got wrong against Villarreal

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What a contest it was! Not a dramatic one, but a very tight game. Villarreal is one such team that is known for giving you the competition to win points. They may never be title contenders, but they prove how great they are in front of the top teams for how Unai Emery has transformed the team, and Real Madrid got to see that first hand.

Villarreal gave a tough competition to Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League final where they won in penalties, to Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup where they lost in penalties, and to Atletico Madrid in the current season where they drew 2-2. And we saw a similar Villarreal in this match too.

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The compact team, which sometimes relies on attacking through counters, troubled Real Madrid a lot. After being dominated by Villarreal in the first half, Real Madrid did come out stronger in the second period, dictating most of the half, but didn’t seem to trouble Villarreal much.

Was it entirely Villarreal’s skill and level of performance that outperformed Real Madrid in the first half and created a lot of dangerous chances in the second half? No. There were a lot of faults from the current table toppers and from the manager too. So, what all did Carlo Ancelotti get wrong?

Real Madrid, Miguel Gutierrez

Real Madrid, Miguel Gutierrez (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Choosing the wrong Starting Line-up

Yes, it was a surprise. I don’t think anyone even thought about that line-up. Especially the defense. In the past, we have seen Federico Valverde play at the Right Back position once- against Liverpool. But then, Zinedine Zidane didn’t have much choice, unlike Ancelotti.

Yes, he might not want Lucas Vazquez to play at the defensive position, but that didn’t mean he had to play Valverde there either. Similar to the line-up against Mallorca, Real Madrid could have played Miguel Gutierrez at the Left Back and Nacho Fernandez at the Right Back position.

Why? Well, one, because it was previously tested, and the second because Nacho plays better on the right side. Miguel is not just any ordinary full-back who Ancelotti can not trust. Yes, experience matters a lot. But still, Miguel has more experience in his own position, than Federico Valverde has in this new position.

Was it the only mistake though? No. Rodrygo should have been benched and Valverde should’ve played in the midfield, giving Asensio a free role. Many would argue Ancelotti’s decision of starting Asensio ahead of Hazard, but I respect it.

Hazard is slowly coming back to the level he once played at. But, in a crucial game like this one, of course, any manager would prefer a player who is full of confidence and had just scored a hat trick over a player who needs time. Still, Ancelotti was at fault in deciding his starting line-up.

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