Simeone Acknowledges Ancelotti’s Tactical Switch as Key to Containing Bellingham

Diego Simeone, the manager of Atletico Madrid, has highlighted how one of Carlo Ancelotti’s tactical changes proved instrumental in neutralizing the impact of Jude Bellingham, who has been a standout performer for Real Madrid this season.

Except for their recent La Liga fixture against Real Sociedad, which ended in a 2-1 victory, Real Madrid has heavily relied on Bellingham to score in every other game. The 2-1 win was secured through goals from Joselu Mato and Fede Valverde.

Following an injury to Vinicius Junior, the former Espanyol forward had been a regular starter, but Ancelotti made a significant alteration by introducing Luka Modric in the lineup, pushing Bellingham further forward alongside Rodrygo Goes.

Simeone explained to Diario AS how this tactical shift helped them contain Bellingham:

“No, the spaces were reduced, and I think that Joselu’s absence left him with fewer possibilities to arrive, when he took advantage of Joselu’s aerial game. We controlled it better; it was extraordinary. Madrid showed on the field that something can always happen. Luckily the 3-1 took away that space where they are better, if it had been 2-1 and stage fright. For us, this victory is very important.”

Joselu did enter the game at halftime to replace Modric as Ancelotti sought to rectify the situation, but Real Madrid’s attacking performance still struggled. While Real Madrid hasn’t been operating smoothly in attack with Joselu either, Bellingham has been deployed in a role behind two forwards. It appears that Ancelotti is unlikely to make further changes to his lineup anytime soon.

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