Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that Real Madrid deserved to win over Barcelona as the Creamy manager questioned VAR’s recent decision to rule out Marco Asensio’s goal in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to El Clasico.
Substitute Asensio thought he had intercepted the late winner at the Camp Nou, returning home from an 81st-minute cross from Dani Carvajal before a lengthy VAR check ruled the Spanish international offside.
Frank Kessy coolly passed Thibaut Courtois 11 minutes later as Barça took their last win and a 12-point lead at the top of La Liga.
Ancelotti was unconvinced by the decision not to score a goal by Asensio, who was thought to be ahead of Jules Kunde, but praised Real Madrid’s steady performance on Sunday.
The Italian told Movistar, “You have to make (the decision). But I have doubts. There is probably nothing. We are entitled to this doubt.
“We played a good game, we deserved to win, it was won. Then there is the question of this target, which was banned.
“In the end we tried everything, we lost our balance a bit and they scored. The game was very good, we leave with the confidence that we can finish the season well.”
FT: @Football Club Barcelona 2-1 @realmadriden
Sergi Roberto 45′, Kessy 90′+2′; Araujo 09′ (og)#El Clasico | #Emirates pic.twitter.com/vnxpC1WwYD
— Real Madrid FC (@realmadriden) March 19, 2023
With 12 games remaining after the international break and a two-legged Champions League quarter-final against Chelsea in April, Ancelotti has vowed Real Madrid will fight to the end.
“We will fight in all competitions, to the maximum,” he added. “We have to try to play like that again. If we play like this, we will definitely win something.”
Barça’s defeat came just four days after beating Liverpool in the Champions League round of 16 and Ancelotti suggested Real Madrid were suffering from a grueling schedule.
“We have a bigger loss than before and it’s even harder, but we’re going to play until the last game,” he told reporters at a post-match press conference.
“The plan hasn’t changed with the substitutions we’ve made, only individual characteristics have changed, such as (yellow) cards, suspensions and fatigue.”
Ancelotti also admitted that Madrid’s title trophy was hampered by a disappointing return to the club after the mid-season World Cup hiatus.
“January cost us dearly, because after the World Cup it was difficult for us to restore our condition,” he continued.
“But we are going to finish the season well. Today the game was good, with a good approach, with good changes.”