Carlo Ancelotti’s second stint in charge of Real Madrid started with a 4-1 victory over Alaves and the coach was very happy with the second half and with the play of Karim Benzema.

Although he felt the first half was too slow, the Italian enjoyed the extra intensity that came after the break and singled out two-goal man Benzema for praise.

“The first half was quite slow, with and without the ball,” he said in his post-match press conference.
“We could have been better. The second half was better, with more intensity and quality.
“[Benzema’s first goal] opened the game up and we had more space to use our quality.
“With Benzema, to just call him a forward is selling him short. He’s a complete player. He has great personality too.
“Compared to the player I knew six years ago, he’s much more complete and has much more personality.”

The coach was asked about Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale too, as they both started alongside Benzema.
“Hazard played a complete game,” Ancelotti said.
“For him and Bale, it was hard to find space between the lines in the first half as Alaves were tight at the back. We struggled to play down the middle.
“I think all the players are working well. Bale will get even better because he isn’t yet in optimal condition, like with all players. All of them can improve.”

BBC sport


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