Liga - Advantage Atletico, says Ancelotti after Super Copa draw

Carlo Ancelotti says that Atletico Madrid are favourites to win the Super Copa, though Diego Simeone insists that it's still on a knife-edge.

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Diego Simeone and Carlo Ancelotti (AFP)

Tuesday night’s meeting at Santiago Bernabeu between the Copa del Rey winners and the League champions ended in a 1-1 draw, James Rodriguez’s late goal cancelled out by Raul Garcia’s even later equaliser.

The destination of the trophy will now be decided by Friday night’s second leg at Vicente Calderon and Ancelotti said after the final whistle that a repeat showing will deliver a second trophy of the season, after the European Super was won earlier this month.

“Atletico have a small advantage because we have to win at the Calderon,” Ancelotti told AS.

“We will try. If we repeat the game today, we’ll win the Supercopa.

“After the goal we had good control of the game and only failed at a set piece, where we didn’t control the near post.

“The error for the goal was not to cover the first post. [Iker Casillas] had no chance to do anything in that situation.

“I’ve decided my first choice goalkeeper but I won’t say who.

“I think the team played well, with an extraordinary tempo, control of the game throughout the match, pushing forward…the three midfielders played well.

“James did well and the team played better and with more speed in the second half.

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Atletico Madrid midfielder Raul Garcia (C) celebrates after scoring during the Spanish Super Copa first leg match …

“He scored his first goal for Madrid and that will give him more confidence.”

The match saw a number of bookings for both sides and a Madrid penalty appeal rejected with the score at 1-1.

Ancelotti declined to criticise the referee for not awarding a spot kick for a Mario Suarez handball, and also said he didn’t feel Atletico were overly aggressive in their approach.

“It was a clear hand ball, it’s cost us but I don’t want to talk about it,” the Italian went on.

“It wasn’t an easy game to referee and that’s it.

“Atletico didn’t seem too aggressive to me. Normal. Atletico always play with this intensity and aggression.”

Simeone played down the draw, saying that Garcia’s goal merely kept Atletico in it.

“We wanted to play a game of our characteristics and to play more like us than them,” he told AS.

“We had three or four chances to open the scoring but it wasn’t to be. But we scored from a great move and we still have strength to play at home with a 50% chance thanks to Garcia’s goal.

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“It’s 50-50 because Madrid always thinks they can score and 0-0 wouldn’t be good for them. We’ll see a team with a lot of ways to attack.”

Young midfielder Saul was named in the starting XI and Simeone was asked about his thinking in fielding the 19-year-old.

“We wanted people in the middle to shut the front options and to invite Madrid to play wide, as they did, with a third with Koke and Guilhere Siqueira or Juanfran and Saul to push out there,” Simeone said.

“He had two important chances to score. He’s getting used to that position but I see the characteristics of Koke when he started.

“Hopefully he continues to develop and he’s a young player.”

Read the original article on Football Espana - The ultimate website for English-speaking fans of Spanish football

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