Real Madrid’s performance against Valencia was far from their best, but Carlo Ancelotti acknowledged that Los Blancos nevertheless advanced to the Supercopa de Espaa final.
After a commanding first 45 minutes, Karim Benzema’s first-half penalty appeared to put Los Blancos on the winning track, but a resurgent Valencia quickly equalized through Samuel Lino.
Giorgi Mamardashvili made several saves in extra time to keep Gennaro Gattuso’s team in the game, but Madrid won on penalties after Eray Comert and Jose Gaya missed their opportunities.
Ancelotti admitted Madrid’s flaws after the lackluster 1-1 draw and the 4-3 shootout triumph, speculating that the World Cup break may have contributed to a lack of focus.
The Madrid head coach told reporters: “It hasn’t been a physical problem because in extra time we’ve done better than them. We’re not at the top but it’s normal.
“There are players who started a little while after the World Cup. We’ve put players who were on the limit like [Ferland] Mendy and [Dani] Carvajal.
“We wanted to reach the final and that’s what we’ve done. It’s a different moment from last year but I think we’re going to fight hard to win the Super Cup.”
Benzema, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos all converted their spot-kicks, with Ancelotti preferring to go with experience for his first three takers before Marco Asensio found the net with Madrid’s fourth penalty.
“I put the three players with the most experience, the best,” he added. “The last one was Vinicius [Junior] and it is better that he did not shoot.”
The victory did seemingly come at a cost, though, as Eduardo Camavinga, Eder Militao and Lucas Vazquez all sustained injuries.
“Camavinga has had a blow to the knee, Militao is dizzy and is fine,” Ancelotti continued. “Lucas has a sprain, that is the most serious. I don’t know if he will be in Sunday’s game.”