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Ancelotti: "Illarramendi played very well"

On a night when Madrid weren't at their best, they still came out on top. Here are Carlo's thoughts on it.

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This wasn't a vintage Real Madrid performance. Though Celta didn't register any shot on target, they did find plenty of room in Madrid's defence while Los Blancos' attack was somewhat average. However, Carlo Ancelotti still praised his team for their showing.

"It was not an easy game, I like how Celta play. But we played well. The run goes on - I hope it keeps going some more games. I dont see any drop physically. First half we had lot of intensity, breaking with pace. In the second we controlled well, worked well."

The man of the hour was, as usual, Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Cristiano is very playing very well at this moment, physically at his best, extraordinarily motivated in this moment."

It was Asier Illarramendi's introduction into the starting lineup which had some worried prior to the game. That being said, Carlo was quite pleased with his contribution today (most touches, interceptions, clearances, fouls drawn and accurate long balls).

"Illarramendi played very well, in both phases of the game, attack and defence. He played with personality."

His partner in the midfield, Toni Kroos, wasn't at his all-time best but he still put in a solid shift.

"True that Kroos with the ball misplaced some passes, which we are not used to seeing. But in defence he was very good."

The talking point, however, is certain to be James Rodriguez's injury status as he came off early in the second half.

"James has a calf injury, we will evaluate it in the coming days. Ronaldo is fine - just a change to give him rest. James' injury is a blow, but we'll recover Isco and Khedira. These problems sometimes come with games. But we can replace people well."

And finally from Carlo, a little love thrown Karim Benzema's way.

"As always Karim was important, to get out of the pressure they were putting on. His positioning very good to help team come out."

Sergio Ramos also spoke to the press after the game and touched on his 300th league game for the club, as well as the team's form.

"It's a special day for me, because it's not every day you reach such an important number of games. On top of that, as a team things are going very well for us, with this run of victories and we're up there at the top of the table. Hopefully I can stay here for many more years and double that number, that's what I would like."

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