Ancelotti defends Ramos tactic

The Italian is insistent that he made the correct choice in moving the defender further forward despite losing El Clasico

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has defended his decision to play Sergio Ramos in midfield during the 2-1 defeat to rivals Barcelona on Saturday.

The Italian's tactics came under the microscope after the game, with Gareth Bale preferred to Karim Benzema and Ramos played out of position in a holding midfield role, as opposed to his usual centre-back berth.

Talking to Spanish radio station Cadena COPE, Ancelotti said: “Ramos in midfield? I do not think I was wrong there.

“It is true that Sergio Ramos has not played in this position before. Before deciding I spoke to him. He was happy, excited to play in this position.

“I do not think the game was so bad. It is not true that putting Ramos in midfield was defensive. The defensive midfielder was the same as when Asier Illarramendi was playing there.

“If the week in training was the same as I saw last week, then yes, I would put Ramos in midfield again, if the Clasico was played tomorrow.”

Although Ancelotti insists his tactics were not the reason for the defeat, he has admitted that as coach he is ultimately to blame for the loss.

“Am I to blame for the defeat? I could be. Generally a coach is responsible for team results. When Madrid have lost, the first to be responsible is the coach.

“All the problems that have emerged in this period are ones that can be solved by the coach. I have a team that are very good, with very professional players, they are not causing any problems. For this, I can say yes.”

Following the match, Ancelotti was critical of referee Alberto Undiano for his failure to award Cristiano Ronaldo a penalty after he appeared to have been barged down in the area by Javier Mascherano.

“I am not talking about a theft because I like to think that the referee was working in good faith," the 54-year-old added.

“The referee makes mistakes like the players do. The referee made an error at an important moment of the game, but I do not think it was a robbery. No-one at the club has spoken of theft.”

Ancelotti was also asked about Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets, who criticised los Blancos for 'crying' over decisions that hadn't gone there way.

“I do not think that is true. Speaking of the penalty, no-one has said anything bad because the penalty was clear. It is an episode that, from time to time, can determine a match.

“I had a problem with the same referee, during a Champions League quarter-final with Chelsea against Manchester United, it was the same mistake and there was no whistle [for a foul from Patrice Evra on Ramires].

“But that is football, we have to look forward.”