Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti expects Barcelona to rebound from their poor start to the season under new head coach Xavi.
Xavi has been tasked with pulling the La Liga giants Barca out of their tough times following his appointment as Ronald Koeman’s replacement at Camp Nou.
Barca are 10 points behind Madrid after losing a three-goal lead as Celta Vigo drew 3-3 in the 96th minute on Saturday, while league leaders Ancelotti beat Rayo Vallecano 2-1.
Ancelotti has been asked about Barca great Xavi’s return to the Catalan giants – who are ninth in the table – after Madrid’s victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“Obviously I don’t want to talk about Barcelona. I know they are in a difficult situation, and I have said this more than once because I have a lot of respect for them as a club, and I respect Xavi too, “Ancelotti told reporters.
“I wish him the best because I can’t say anything personally if Barca are having problems or not, but they have more than enough quality to get out of this difficult situation.”
Ancelotti added: “It’s a surprise that we are 10 points ahead of Barcelona, ââbut I think Barcelona can very easily get back into the title race because it’s a very long season.
âAnd like I said, it’s a very competitive league. You don’t need 100 points to win this division. You need a lot less because it’s so competitive.â
Madrid continue to set the tone after Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema lead Los Blancos past Rayo in the Spanish capital.
Benzema has reached 10 goals in 11 of his 13 La Liga seasons (10 in 2021-2022) – only Lionel Messi (15) has scored more than 10 goals in more campaigns in the 21st century competition than the Frenchman.
Madrid duo Benzema (10) and Vinicius Junior (seven) have scored 17 La Liga goals this season, a figure only surpassed by Bayern Munich’s pair (19) Robert Lewandowski (13) and Serge Gnabry (six) in the big five. European championships.
“I saw a team that played really well. For about 80 minutes I think we played really well,” Ancelotti said of his team’s victory. “We had a lot of chances and I think we had to score one more to kill the game and we kept creating chances and that third goal didn’t come. And then when Rayo scored we had a few minutes of fear.
“I don’t really have another word to describe it, and we suffered, but I think we have to analyze everything as a team, and we suffered later in the game. But we played really well during the major. part of the match.
“We also missed the goal in front of the goal, which we don’t normally do. It’s something very strange that, for example, Karim [Benzema] misses in front of goal, but he scored a second, so he caught that up.
“But overall I’m happy because we took the three points and we also got three points against a team from Rayo who are playing well, they are pressing well, they are playing very well from behind. And we have tried to be very dangerous at the counter when we had the chance, but I think the game maybe ended in the 80th minute. It was maybe one of our best performances of the season, but we had to work hard in the end. “