Carlo Ancelotti confirms he will drop 24-year-old Real Madrid star from line-up after Copa del Rey defeat to Atletico


Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that goalkeeper Andriy Lunin will make way for Kepa Arrizabalaga in the starting XI following their defeat to Atletico Madrid.

Los Blancos were eliminated from the Copa del Rey, losing 4-2 in extra time against Atletico in the Round of 16 on Thursday, January 18. Andriy Lunin started the game at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. He made eight saves but could’ve perhaps done better on some occasions.

According to Forbes, Ancelotti had confirmed in the mixed zone that Kepa will start Real Madrid‘s La Liga clash against Almeria on January 21. However, he refused to dig out Lunin after the Atletico loss, saying:

“I don’t want to make any more individual analysis here. We could have done better when the game was tied, we didn’t need to force plays so much and we did that. We were young, that was the key.”

Lunin and Kepa have competed for the No. 1 spot at the Santiago Bernabeu following Thibaut Courtois’ ACL injury ahead of the season. Kepa has kept seven clean sheets in 17 games across competitions for Real Madrid, conceding 17 goals, having arrived on loan from Chelsea last summer.

Meanwhile, Lunin has kept five clean sheets in 12 games across competitions this season, conceding 11 goals.

Real Madrid suffer only their second defeat of the season, both at Atletico Madrid

Los Blancos have been in stellar form this season across competitions despite their injury issues. They came into the Copa del Rey clash against Atletico Madrid on Thursday on the back of just one defeat in 28 games.

That defeat came in the form of a 3-1 defeat against Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano in La Liga back in September last year. Real Madrid suffered the same fate again in their clash on Thursday.

Samuel Lino gave the hosts the lead in the 39th minute but Jan Oblak’s own goal in the first-half stoppage time restored parity. Alvaro Morata scored in the 57th minute to make it 2-1 before Joselu equalised in the 82nd minute to take it to extra time.

Atletico’s all-time top scorer Antoine Griezmann then scored in the 100th minute before Rodrigo Riquelme sealed the win for his side in the 119th minute.

Real Madrid came into the game on the back of a stunning 4-1 win over arch-rivals Barcelona in the Supercopa de Espana final. Incidentally, they beat Atletico 5-3 in the semi-final after extra time.

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