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Ancelotti enjoys Madrid rejuvenation

Carlo Ancelotti thinks victory at FC Schalke 04 indicates Real Madrid CF are "back on the right track" while Roberto Di Matteo rued the fine margins that resulted in defeat.

Highlights: Schalke v Real Madrid
Highlights: Schalke v Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti says Real Madrid are "back on the right track"
Madrid take control against Schalke with 2-0 win in Gelsenkirchen
Cristiano Ronaldo gets first goal for a month. "He lives to score," says Ancelotti
Roberto Di Matteo says fine details made the difference on the night
Second leg takes place on 10 March at the Santiago Bernabéu

Roberto Di Matteo, Schalke coach
I believe it was a disappointing result for us, as both teams had few chances, but Real scored the goals and we didn't. In the first half we had that shot from [Klaas-Jan] Huntelaar, a very good stop by [Iker] Casillas. In the second half, we hit the bar when it was 1-0; if we had scored there, the game could have ended differently.

We fought well and tried everything against a very strong opponent. Real's quality is what made the difference today, especially in attack. If you allow Madrid space, they are very dangerous. We could see that at the end of the first half, when there were more openings. If you allow room for Bale, Ronaldo and Benzema, it is very dangerous. Anything is possible in football which is why we now have to believe we can do something in Madrid.

Mixed feelings for Di Matteo
Mixed feelings for Di Matteo

We wanted to keep the openings at a minimum for Madrid, not allow them space between our lines. We did defend a bit higher, but you always have to be wary of their speed and counterattacks.

We need to score two goals if we want to qualify. As I said, in this kind of game, there are not many chances. Sometimes the quality makes the difference. We hit the bar, they hit the top corner – that's the difference.

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid coach
My team put in a good performance today. Our attitude was good as well. The intensity of this match was not very high, it was more a game of patience. We were waiting for our chances and, overall, were able to control things quite well. Only once we were in danger of conceding, but overall it was a good performance.

It is clear that Cristiano Ronaldo lives to score goals. It's never a problem for us when he doesn't score for a couple of games. But he, of course, minds. Today it was not just any goal, it was an important goal, the opener. I believe we are back on the right track.

Carlo Ancelotti on the touch line
Carlo Ancelotti on the touch line©AFP/Getty Images

I was surprised with Marcelo's goal. It's not every day he scores with his right foot, so I was euphoric and pleasantly surprised. Before I knew it, I was standing on the pitch and celebrating with him.

Today you could see the experience and presence Pepe brings. In defence, he sets out our way of playing. His presence in a game like today was incredibly important for us all.

I played Lucas Silva because I was looking for freshness, as he hardly played on Sunday. He was supposed to bring order to the midfield and did that very, very well. He played the easy passes and had some good ideas. He is just 22 and it was his first big game for Real Madrid.