Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has said that absence of Ronaldo gives Madrid players extra motivation to play hard.
Real Madrid beat Villareal on Saturday by 4-2 to go on top of the La Liga. With leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo serving the first of a three-game suspension, Real Madrid forwards Gareth Bale and Jese Rodriguez each scored and set up goals for Karim Benzema in a 4-2 win over Villarreal on Saturday, giving the powerhouse a share of the Spanish league lead after Atletico Madrid stumbled to a 2-0 loss at Almeria.
It was the first game of Ronaldo’s three-match suspension and Ancelotti told reporters at his post-match Press conference that missing the Portuguese pushed other players to step up.
“The absence of Cristiano gave us more motivation because he is an indispensable player for us,” Ancelotti said.
“Without him the rest work even harder.
“Bale has played well, like his teammates.
“It was not an easy game. I understand that after the work we put in against Atletico Madrid it was not easy to approach this game.
“But Bale scored the first goal, assisted the second and put in a good level of performance.”
Madrid’s victory was perhaps marred by injuries to both left-backs, Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao, the former going off with back pain and the latter suffering a muscle problem in his leg.
Both had to be substituted – Coentrao had replaced Marcelo – and Ancelotti revealed that was the reason Isco didn’t see any action.
“He is in my thoughts every day because he has shown great quality and I know I can call on him in future,” Ancelotti said of the former Malaga midfielder.
Ancellotti Praises Karim Benzea Also
After scoring two goals for Real Madrid during the 4-2 win over Villarreal, Karim Benzema has been praised by manager Carlo Ancelotti who revealed the striker is very important for the team.
“He (Benzema) is very important for us, not only because he scores, but because we can ask different things of him sometimes,” the Real Madrid coach was said while giving interview to the club’s official website.
“Sometimes I ask him to slow things down a little and he does that well too. He is a very complete player … ” the tactician said.
Meanwhile, Benzema praised his teammate Cristiano Ronaldo who missed the game due to a red card suspension.
“I’m enjoying a great moment of form and I’m really confident,” said Benzema.
“Ronaldo is the best player of all time and I’m thrilled to match him. I’m doing well and I’m going to try to stay this way,” he added.
Real Madrid are in the driving seat of the Spanish La Liga team table with 57 points, sharing the same point score with Atletico who are second with goal difference.
Madrid face Atletico in the Copa second-leg on Tuesday and the Coach admitted the hectic schedule was a concern.
“We have many games left and it’s not easy to prepare for all of them.
“We’re in good form because we have a lot of concentration but today was a different game. The energy was different.”