sport

Ancelotti: Real will get better

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti admits the European champions still have plenty of room for improvement after seeing them open their Primera Division campaign with an uninspiring 2-0 win over minnows Cordoba.

Real were beaten by arch rivals Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa last week and did little to impress their fans against Cordoba at the Bernabeu on Monday night either, with Karim Benzema's first-half header the only thing separating the sides until Cristiano Ronaldo notched a 90th-minute second.

Ancelotti, who is on the verge of losing winger Angel di Maria to Manchester United, conceded his side are not yet firing on all cylinders but insisted the three points were the main thing.

"We need to play quicker and up the tempo of the game. The important thing was to start with a victory, we struggled, but everything worked out fine. The team is balanced. We controlled the match well and we didn't give away chances," he said.

"There was some tiredness because since August 12 we've played every three days and it's not easy to play every three days in the pre-season. But we didn't struggle much, the match was under control."

The Italian also insisted he was unaware of any jeers from the home fans, adding: "I don't know. I didn't hear any whistles. On the contrary, when we were struggling the fans helped."