The Real thing – Ancelotti looks for a glut of goals against Val­le­cano

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

REAL Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will be look­ing for more of the same from his starstud­ded front line when his team travel across town to face Rayo Val­le­cano in La Liga to­day.

The Ital­ian lauded the of­fen­sive ex­plo­sion of his front three of Gareth Bale, Cris­tiano Ron­aldo and Karim Ben­zema as they com­bined to smash seven goals past Sevilla on Wed­nes­day.

Ron­aldo bagged his 22nd Madrid hat-trick, whilst Bale and Ben­zema scored twice and had two as­sists as both men pro­duced eas­ily their best per- for­mance of the sea­son so far.

How­ever, Ancelotti was less en­am­oured with his side’s de­fend­ing as Real con­ceded twice in quick suc­ces­sion be­fore half­time and, af­ter los­ing a third goal to a sweet strike from Ivan Rakitic, also saw the Croat miss a sec­ond- half penalty be­fore even­tu­ally run­ning out 7-3 win­ners.

“It was a bit of a crazy game and we scored a lot of goals,” said Ancelotti,

“But we lacked a bit of bal­ance be­cause when you are lead­ing 3-0 you have to be more care­ful to avoid prob­lems.

“We had a lot of great in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances, par­tic­u­larly up front. I think the three there have played very well and tried to pres­sure very high up.

“We lacked bal­ance be­cause we didn’t press as well in mid­field and we had prob­lems on the wings.

“We need to look for that bal­ance with the other seven play­ers be­cause I want those three to keep press­ing high.”

There should be plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for Bale, Ron­aldo and Ben­zema to rack up their goal tally again to­day when they face the worst de­fence in any of Europe’s ma­jor leagues.

Rayo have con­ceded 27 goals in their 11 league games to date and, af­ter an eighth de­feat of the sea­son at Osasuna on Wed­nes­day, coach Paco Je­mez said his side “looked like a team of kids in an adult league”.

Ancelotti has a fully fit squad to choose from for the short jour­ney to Val­leca and he hinted that Xabi Alonso could start af­ter mak­ing his first ap­pear­ance of the sea­son for the fi­nal 25 min­utes against Sevilla.

“I am very happy. Now I don’t have any prob­lems and I ex­pect to im­prove bit by bit by com­pet­ing and be­ing use­ful for the team,” Alonso said.

“I have the feel­ing that the team is al­ready formed, al­though there are things to pol­ish up on, but the sea­son is very long.

“We are re­in­forc­ing what we are do­ing well and cor­rect­ing what we can do bet­ter, we ex­pect to get to where we want to this sea­son.”

Ser­gio Ramos will also be avail­able de­spite pick­ing up his fifth book­ing of the sea­son in mid­week as his ban will not be en­forced un­til next weekend.

Madrid could be nine points be­hind Barcelona by the time they kick-off to­day.

Mean­while, Atletico Madrid, who lead Real by five points in sec­ond place, are in ac­tion tomorrow when they host high-fly­ing Ath­letic Bil­bao at the Vi­cente Calderon. – Sa­paAFP

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