Real Madrid news: 'This match made me happiest this season,' says Carlo Ancelotti after the 2-1 Copa del Rey win over Elche

Isco and Hazard came off the bench to get on the score-sheet and take Los Blancos into the quarter-finals of the competition.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti; Credit: Twitter/ @MrAncelotti

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti was delighted with his team’s performance after the hard fought 2-1 win against Elche in the Copa del Rey round of 16 fixture on Thursday. After a goalless 90 minutes, the match went into the extra-time, where Elche broke the deadlock through Gonzalo Verdu in the 103rd minute after Marcelo was sent off. Meanwhile Real Madrid showed great character to equalise through Isco in the 108th before substitute Eden Hazard scored the winner eight minutes later.

Ancelotti was proud of his players and in the post-match press conference, he said “This is the match that has made me happiest from this part of the season. I warned the players that it could be a long match and that we had to be ready for everything, for mistakes, for conceding a goal, for extra time. This is an extraordinary squad. They fight until the end. They have character.”

Isco and Hazard came off the bench to get on the score-sheet and take Los Blancos into the quarter-finals of the competition. Despite playing with a man-less, Real Madrid leveled the score through Isco. Dani Ceballos’ shot from inside the box deflected off Isco and went into the net.

After the equaliser, Real Madrid played with more intent and looked likely to get the winner, and they did get it. David Alaba played a superb ball down the left for Hazard, who raced forward before getting past an advancing goalkeeper and finished off with ease from a tight angle from just inside the box. It was the Belgian international’s first goal in eight months.

Hazard and Isco won this match for us: Ancelotti

When asked about Isco and Hazard, the Italian tactician said: “Hazard and Isco won this match for us. Sometimes they’ve deserved to play more. They’re very professional. [Keeping them motivated] is about maintaining good relationships, as people not just as footballers.”

Marcelo had a good game on the left flank. The Brazilian full-back was very good going forward and did a decent job while defending apart from a missed interception, early in the game, which could have been costly, but Carrillo missed a sitter from two yards out.

Ancelotti was satisfied with Marcelo’s performance, he said: “I think Marcelo was better offensively and had some dangerous moments in attack. But, I think he also did well in defence apart from one long ball early on. I can count on him.”

Real Madrid are placed on top of the La Liga Santander with a four point lead over second-placed Sevilla and they will take on Elche once again in the League fixture on Sunday.

Sportslumo Desk

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