Carlo Ancelotti insisted nobody should be blamed after Real Madrid’s disappointing 0-0 draw at home to struggling Cadiz, applauding the performance even if the outcome was not as expected.
Madrid had been hoping to extend their winning run to eight league matches but failed to convert their superiority into goals at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.
Los Blancos’ 36 shots amounted to 10 more than any other team have had in a single LaLiga match this season and the most since Madrid themselves had 37 attempts against Levante in April 2013.
Those shots equated to 2.8 expected goals (xG), meaning it was only the fourth time in the past decade that Madrid have failed to score in a LaLiga game despite registering at least 2.8 xG.
Cadiz defended valiantly, their 14 blocks being the most any team has recorded in a game since Opta began collecting this data (2005-06), somehow managing to leave the Santiago Bernabeu with at least a point for the second season in a row.
Yet, as frustrating as it would have been for his team to fail to beat 19th-placed Cadiz, Ancelotti looked on the bright side.
Speaking to Movistar, Ancelotti said: “I think we’ve tried in every way, but it has not turned out well.
“It didn’t work, but we tried, and therefore I don’t have to blame [anyone]. There are many positive things, the only thing that wasn’t positive was not having won the three points, but this is football.
“There are times you don’t deserve it and you win, and others you deserve it and you don’t win. They have played us with a set-up that always challenges us, but that’s the way it is.
“In the first half what we didn’t do well was breaking their back line, the intensity wasn’t very high. The second half was different, we created a lot of opportunities.
“The ball didn’t go in, but, personally, I’m happy. We tried, I don’t know what more we could do. We could have had more quality in the final metres, but I am not going to ask my team for more.”
Numerous Madrid players caught the eye but one of the most notable – even if he was not necessarily the standout star – was Eden Hazard.
The Belgian has been a massive disappointment since joining Madrid from Chelsea, with injuries playing a major role in disrupting him, but he looked bright at times on what was his first LaLiga start since September.
Hazard had three shots, his match-high 0.77 xG showing he was a threat, while he also played five key passes, the second most he has tallied in a league game for Madrid.
Ancelotti added: “It was difficult for him to get into the game, but in the second half he did very well with better combinations with the forwards.
“It is clear that Hazard can be one more weapon for us in the second half of the season.”