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Ancelotti: “It would be tough to bench Rodrygo for El Clásico after this”

Full of praise for his Brazilian wingers

FBL-EUR-C1-SHAKHTAR DONETSK-REAL MADRID Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 on Tuesday night, with their two Brazilian wingers Vinícius and Rodrygo really standing out. The former scored two and the latter netted one, with Carlo Ancelotti praising both after the game.

On two-goal Vinícius, he said: “Vinícius did well, but it’s hard to pick one standout player from today. He has improved a lot and is scoring a lot of goals, enjoying himself in front of goal. He even finished the game still full of energy, even making a sprint late on.”

Then, speaking about Rodrygo and the possibility of the youngster starting against Barcelona on Sunday, he said: “He did well too and I liked his defensive work. I don’t know [if he’ll start vs Barcelona], but it would be tough to make a change. We’ll need to look at things over the coming days. It’s a different game.”

Analysing the match as a whole, the Italian stated: “We were good from the very start. We knew that they’d be dangerous on the counter. We defended well. I’m happy with the clean sheet, as that always makes it more likely for us to win. When we keep a clean sheet, we always win [well… except vs Villarreal]. It’s all about defensive commitment and today it wasn’t only the defenders who played well. The midfield won all their battles and still have ambition. All I can do is applaud them. I can’t say anything more than that.”

Finally, he discussed the other goalscorer Karim Benzema. Comparing the Frenchman’s current form with how he played during Ancelotti’s previous stint, the Italian said: “Maybe he has more leadership now, but he was always good. I’ve always liked him. Maybe I like him a little bit more now.”