As if Real Madrid losing El Clasico to Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu was not bad enough, Carlo Ancelotti and his team could be set for even further punishment. The refereeing technical committee, called the RFEF in Spain, is looking in to statements made by Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos, as an AS report explains, in the wake of the disappointing defeat and I cannot see any outcome other than both players being given bans.
Just when Real Madrid looked like taking control of La Liga, following shock defeats for Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, last weekend’s results went a bit wrong. Barcelona won and are now just a point behind Real, but Carlo Ancelotti’s men are still favourites for the title for a number of reasons.
If you are looking to put your money on them, it would be a good time and, I think, a good move. There are widely differing odds available so it is worth checking around and finding which the best are, according to a comparison and review site like SportsBettingDime.com. But anything around evens is a great price because Real Madrid are in great form and getting better, while the two rivals are stuttering.
After a shaky start to the season, Real Madrid are hitting top gear and looking very good. Carlo Ancelotti seems to have got a great atmosphere going in the dressing room and, after a fair bit of tinkering with team selection and formation, the Italian seems to have settled into a more regular system for Madrid.
It is paying off handsomely, with a place in the Copa Del Rey final already assured. The weekend then saw Barcelona and Atletico fail to keep up with Real and means Los Blancos have taken a three point lead at the top of La Liga. Of course, a domestic double would be fantastic and would eclipse any of the seasons under Jose Mourinho, but what everyone at the club really wants is another Champions League triumph.
Real Madrid will host lowly Elche at the Santiago Bernabeu, but the result is not as straighforward as you would think. For one thing, Carlo Ancelotti has had his preparations for today’s game disrupted by a baffling decision by the panel set up to make rulings on all sorts of disciplinary cases.
The Italian manager had expected them to decide this morning that the three match ban given to Ronaldo for the slightest of touches on the captain of Bilbao a couple of weeks ago was too harsh. So Ancelotti had prepared for the game with Ronaldo in the team, but the three game ban was upheld.
Ever since Karim Benzema moved to Real Madrid from Lyon in the summer of 2009, he has had to share the central striking duties with Gonzalo Higuain. Until this season, that is, when Carlo Ancelotti decided it had to be one or the other to get the best from them.
For a while in the early stages of the season, the manager seemed to have made a big mistake, as the French striker struggled for goals, form and confidence, but all three are flowing now. Maybe the court case was preying on his mind or he just needed to get used to being the main man, but he is certainly producing the goods now.
It remains to be seen, of course, if Real Madrid will win any trophies in their first season under Carlo Ancelotti, but it certainly seems like a much happier and more relaxed club. After the strain, tension and discord that characterised the reign of Jose Mourinho, the fans, players and media are all mightily relieved about that.
Mourinho seems to have embarked on another spell of rabble rousing back in England, getting into spiteful arguments with rival managers, players, officials and anyone who crosses his path, but Ancelotti is almost the opposite. A lot of players liked Mourinho because he was so determined to win, but it came at a price.
Real Madrid are in a great position in the Copa Del Rey. They are 3-0 up from the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu and that would usually be enough to think that a place in the final was just a formality, but that is not the case tonight.
Because the opponents are Atletico Madrid and Ancelotti and his players are expecting a tough night. Not only are Atletico fierce city rivals, but there home crown always makes a trip to the Vicente Calderon a difficult one and they will be especially fired up tonight, as will Diego Simeone and his players.
The game this weekend was causing a certain amount of concern for Real Madrid and their fans. Despite it being a home game, the visit of an in-form Villareal and the absence of star man Cristiano Ronaldo made it look like it was going to be a tough one, but Garteh Bale was back from injury and the Welshman inspired his team mates to a vital victory which moves Real Madrid to the top of La Liga.
There have been some real concerns among Real Madrid fans and some sections of the Spanish media this week. Following the decision of the football authorities to uphold the red card shown to Cristiano Ronaldo last weekend, this weekend’s La Liga clash with Villareal was looking like a tough one.
Gareth Bale has missed the last three games with injury, after suffering a painful kick to his privates, but he should have been back by now and there have been suggestions that the talented Welshman had suffered a recurrence of the calf problem that was dogging him earlier in the season.
Carlo Ancelotti has spoken to the press today ahead of the Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid semi-final first leg of the Copa Del Rey. The Italian manager is sweating on the complaints committee who are due to decide on whether the ban for Cristiano Ronaldo will be repealed and, if not, how long it will be.
It could even be extended, after the Portuguese Ballon D’Or winner was reported by the match referee for an offensive gesture towards the fourth official as he left the pitch. Ronaldo slapped his cheek a couple of times, which seems to be taken as referring to oral sex and players who have been pulled up for this before have been handed down extra bans of up to four games.