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Carlo Ancelotti praises Karim Benzema

The Italian coach was happy with Benzema's contribution while he explained that the team still needs to work to get in shape.

Denis Doyle

Real Madrid's game was utterly mediocre, but there were still some silver linings on the horizon. Karim Benzema was one of those.

Benzema's work was really good. When one striker like Karim scores, everybody's happy, but I've always valued his quality even when he didn't score. I'd be more worried if he had a perfect physical condition right now, and that happens with everybody else.

Benzema played well, in fact. But the Man of the Match was arguably Toni Kroos. The German player replaced Xabi Alonso, and that might be just what this team needed against Atlético de Madrid. Ancelotti shared his views about that matter.

Xabi Alonso had played two games in a row and I wanted to give him some rest. It's hard to have a good rhythm with one match every three days. I think this is the idea we have and I am going to start a high-quality midfield every time.

Ancelotti decided to start James Rodríguez in the midfield. The Colombian didn't shine, but he played better than in Cardiff, where he was deployed in that same position. Still, it should be noted that this was a fairly comfortable match for Real Madrid.

I'm sure that our three strikers won't be able to play every game. For the moment, we are trying to place James  a bit deeper, he needs to get used to that, but he definitely has the quality.

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