Ancelotti says fatigue hurting real's game
Updated: 2014-05-06 07:19
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti believes his side struggled physically as its La Liga title hopes were dented by a 2-2 draw at home to Valencia on Sunday.
Atletico Madrid's 2-0 away loss to Levante earlier in the day had opened the door for Real to close to within three points of its city rival with a game in hand.
Despite Cristiano Ronaldo's stunning injury time equalizer, Real could only manage a point - which leaves Atletico needing just four points from its remaining two games to take the title for the first time in 18 years.
Real went into the game on a high, having thrashed Bayern Munich 4-0 last week to progress to the Champions League final for the first time in 12 years.
But Ancelotti thinks both his players and Atletico paid for their exertions in overcoming the German champion and Chelsea respectively in midweek.
"I think it was physical tiredness more than anything," explained Ancelotti.
"You saw Atletico and Chelsea have had the same problem; it is difficult to give your maximum physically days after the intensity of a Champions League semifinal."
Real is back in action on Wednesday when it travels to relegation-threatened Valladolid and Ancelotti knows his side must now win its remaining three games to maintain any realistic hope of winning the league.
"The team is not happy and that is normal because we tried to win until the end, but we will have the same desire and will to fight until the last game," he said.
"To have a chance we need to win all three games and it won't be easy because we play two away from home against teams that are fighting themselves."
Despite the disappointment, Ancelotti took time to marvel at Ronaldo's backheeled finish deep into stoppage time for his 50th goal of the season.
"It was a great goal and a very important goal because to lose this game meant losing the league, and that goal at least gives us a chance until the end."
- Agence France-Presse
(China Daily 05/06/2014 page24)