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Ancelotti talks Benzema, Courtois, Camavinga, Hazard after Valladolid 0-2 Real Madrid

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Following a break of over 50 days due to the FIFA World Cup, Real Madrid resumed the defence of their La Liga title with a hard-earned 2-0 victory over Real Valladolid.

Eighty minutes into Real Madrid’s game at Jose Zorrilla on Friday night, a drawn result looked to be engraved in stone. In fact, the hosts looked the better of the two teams for a significant part of the game.

Yet, as they do time and time again, Los Blancos signalled their inner resilience late into the game to conjure two goals in a span of ten minutes.

Javi Sanchez’s handball in the closing minutes gifted Real Madrid a chance from 12 yards and Karim Benzema did not disappoint. Six minutes later, he slammed the ball past Jordi Masip once again to seal three points and put the pressure back on Barcelona in the La Liga title race.

Indeed, following Friday night’s win sees the Merengues move back to the top of the table, with a one-point lead over Barça who play Espanyol in a Catalan derby later today.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media after his team’s nervy win at Valladolid and talked about topics including Karim Benzema and Eduardo Camavinga. Here are the snippets from his press conference.

On the overall performance: “It was a difficult match against an opponent who gradually entered the game. We did well in the first half and we controlled the game. Valladolid played well and it was a competitive game. The team was not compact, but in this difficult situation we came out with three points.”

On the team’s best performers at Jose Zorilla: “It was a great match for Courtois and Benzema, who scored again. We ended an unforgettable year very well. We have to go little by little to put all the players in a good condition. Courtois and Benzema have been decisive, also the work of everyone.”

On Karim Benzema: “This will be good for Benzema. I saw him well before this game, I knew he could be important today and he was. I see him motivated and with a lot of confidence. I think in this second half of the season we’re going to see a different Karim to the first half.”

On Eduardo Camavinga: “Camavinga is very important. On the ball he’s fantastic. He must improve his positioning off the ball, he knows this. We are very happy to have him, his ability and energy.”

On Camavinga’s ability to play better as a substitute: “He makes more of a difference when he comes off the bench because he has great energy. He has to improve and learn to position, but he is an important player for us.”

On the Copa del Rey: “Next we have the Copa del Rey. We want to win that competition, we haven’t in some time.”

Source: Real Madrid Twitter

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Real Madrid News

Video – Barcelona fans chant ‘Vinicius d*e’ ahead of their UCL clash

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

In what is starting to become an alarmingly common occurrence, a set of Barcelona fans were spotted hurling abusive chants towards Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Jr.

Barça will be facing PSG in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal today in less than an hour and in the lead-up to the game, a section of the Catalans’ supporters were seen chanting “Vinicius, die” on the streets.

It is not the first time this has happened, with Vinicius being constantly targeted by not only Barcelona fans but supporters of a number of other La Liga clubs.

In fact, last month, Barcelona fans were seen hurling the same chants before their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie against Napoli.

The same had happened outside Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Montjuic prior to the Clasico in October last year.

Moreover, this past weekend, a Mallorca fan at Son Moix directed racist abuse towards Vinicius’ Real Madrid teammate, Aurelien Tchouameni.

It is shocking and embarrassing that these incidents continue to occur. It remains to be seen if any action is taken by the concerned authorities against those involved.

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