Carlo Ancelotti praises Real Madrid's 'indomitable spirit' after comeback win at Valencia

La Liga giants move top of the table thanks to 2-1 victory at Mestalla that saw visitors score twice in final four minutes

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti lauded his players' "indomitable spirit" after they scored two late goals to beat Valencia 2-1 on Sunday and extend their unbeaten start to La Liga.

Valencia took the lead at the Mestalla when Hugo Duro struck midway through the second half, but Vinicius Jr levelled in the 86th minute before sending in a cross for Karim Benzema to head the visitors in front two minutes later.

The victory came four days after Madrid beat Inter Milan in the Champions League with an 89th-minute goal from Rodrygo. The Spanish side have now scored six goals in the final five minutes in five games in all competitions this season, and Ancelotti believes it shows his team have plenty of determination to match their talent.

"I have a team that scraps and fights whether they are playing well or playing badly," Ancelotti said. "We didn't beat them thanks to our quality, we did it thanks to our indomitable spirit. We kept going right until the end."

The win took Real to the top of La Liga's standings but Ancelotti expects his side to continue to improve as the season progresses.

"We have quite a young team and I'll be the first person to admit we're not playing spectacular football at the moment," he said.

"We didn't play well in the first half, we attacked well on the break but we were pegged back a lot and when you sit too deep it's easy to concede goals."

The defeat was hard to digest for Valencia manager Jose Bordalas, whose side overcame first-half injuries to Carlos Soler and Thierry Correia and had dominated the game until Madrid's late fightback.

"We're sad because the team made an incredible effort after the problems we had with Carlos and Correia," he said. "We did exactly what we wanted to do and played much better than them, pressing them high and controlling the game. We played 75 perfect minutes but we couldn't afford to drop our concentration for even a second.

"We were a little unlucky but we should have managed the last few minutes better. We didn't read the game well and ended up paying for our mistakes."

Updated: September 20th 2021, 8:16 AM
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