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Notes & Quotes: October 23, 2018

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Postmatch Thoughts: Benzema realizes need to score, Marcelo critical of journalists in backing Lopetegui and Lopetegui sees a potential turning point in season

Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen - UEFA Champions League Group G Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Benzema recognizes that he needs to score more

Karim Benzema, despite scoring earlier Tuesday against Plzen, realizes the criticism he has been facing and the need for him to contribute with goals. He was interviewed after the match by AS.

“Tired? No. I know I have to make more goals.”

“I have it in my head and it gives me a lot of motivation to do it.”

Benzema was the first goalscorer on Tuesday’s scoresheet, scoring just 11 minutes into the match.

With the offense being highly inconsistent so far this season, a lot of the pressure is going to fall on the shoulders of Benzema. With him almost always starting over Mariano, it only adds to the expectations of him becoming a consistent contributor.

Benzema went on to back Lopetegui, as many of his teammates have already, stating that the players have confidence in him and they are with him.

Marcelo lashes back at journalists in defense of Lopetegui

Marcelo was interviewed after the Champions League match against Plzen on Tuesday. He had some criticism of journalists who he believes are trying to derail the team and Lopetegui.

“All journalists try to hurt us, maybe it’s envy because you don’t know how to play football.”

“In my view, he’s doing a great job.”

Marcelo has already publicly backed Lopetegui recently. He has further backed him here and has even defended him a bit farther this time.

While I don’t think envy is the reason journalists have criticized the club, I do think they try to heavily stir the pot. When crisis happens, that’s when discussions around the media takes off, that’s when the ridiculous questions get asked.

We’ve already seen almost every player at the club asked now about what they think of Lopetegui and the rumors of him being sacked. Obviously, the players likely aren’t going to turn on him publicly, so Marcelo does have a point.

Lopetegui believes Champions League match may be a turning point

Julen Lopetegui had some thoughts on Real Madrid’s Champions League win in a post-match interview.

“The most important thing was the three points, it always is in the Champions League.”

“I stick to the positives—winning the game and ending the negative run. The team will grow from this and the victories will help bring calm.”

“The dynamics do not change from one day to the next but I think this can be a turning point for us.”

Real have turned around their recent misfortunes, even though it was only a 2-1 victory against a side they should’ve easily beat. Regardless, they’ll take the win and hold their heads high into El Clásico this weekend.

The true turning point this season would be winning on Sunday against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, even without the presence of Messi. If Real Madrid can get a win against current league leaders, that would be something they can really boost their morale with going forward.

For now, Lopetegui and Real can just be happy they finally won a match again and scored a couple goals.