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



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

Real Madrid trio in danger of missing Villarreal game due to suspension



Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

As Real Madrid look to restart the campaign following the end of the international break, all focus will be on the upcoming El Clasico in Copa del Rey on April 5.

However, before they take on their arch-rivals for a fourth time this year, Real Madrid must see off the challenge from Real Valladolid in La Liga on Sunday.

Given Barcelona’s 12-point advantage at the top of the table, La Liga appears to be a lost cause for Real Madrid right now. But that is no excuse for Carlo Ancelotti’s men to appear complacent, as they look to push for a late title charge.

However, heading into this contest, three Real Madrid players proceed with caution as they are running the risk of missing out on the next league game against Villarreal due to yellow cards.

The three players in question are Eduardo Camavinga, Dani Carvajal, and Dani Ceballos. All three of these players have picked up four yellow cards in La Liga this term. Therefore, picking up another booking against Valladolid will rule them out in the next game.

Camavinga, in particular, has been a vital part of the Real Madrid squad since the turn of the year, impressing onlookers with his performances and versatility.

Carvajal, too, is a critical option at right-back and his experience could go a long way in helping Real Madrid end the league campaign on a positive note. Not to mention, the club lack the services of a reliable alternative, which has led to links with Reece James this coming summer.

Ceballos, on the other hand, has been one of the emerging stars this year. The midfielder’s performances have been excellent lately, and he would not want to lose any momentum by picking up a suspension ahead of the important Villarreal game next week.

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