Ancelotti’s relaxed style is crucial to Real’s Champions League success | Jonathan Wilson

In an era of coaching philosophers, the Italian’s pragmatic approach continues to give Madrid an edge in Europe

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Some day they’ll come up with a different story. Yet again, Real Madrid didn’t seem entirely convincing. Yet again, their opponents had chances. Yet again, there was a sense they rode their luck. And yet again, they won and, by the end, were so much in control that it seemed bizarre they had ever been doubted. Victory over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday gave Madrid their sixth Champions League in 11 years and, yet again, there was a curious sense that they had won it largely because they are used to winning it.

There are two distinct – and apparently contradictory – aspects to this. On the one hand, there is a sort of revisionism going on, an attempt to suggest that Madrid just do things differently, that because they and their coaches, whether Zinedine Zidane or Carlo Ancelotti, don’t have a clearly defined philosophy their tactical excellence is underplayed. And perhaps there is some truth to that; but on the other hand, Dortmund’s Karim Adeyemi did squander two glorious opportunities with the score at 0-0 on Saturday. Madrid do give their opponents a lot of chances.

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