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Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti supported Karim Benzema to return after missing two penalties in the 3-1 win over Osasuna on Wednesday.
Ante Budimir canceled David Alaba’s opening time in the 12th minute before Marco Asensio restored Madrid’s advantage at El Sadar.
Benzema was then twice denied by Sergio Herrera from 12 yards as the French star became the first player to miss two penalties in a LaLiga match since Raul Tamudo against Real Betis in April 2006.
Lucas Vazquez sealed the victory for the league leaders during the break, as Madrid moved 17 points ahead of the nearest challengers Atletico Madrid, where the distant chasers Sevilla and Barcelona played on Thursday.
After the match, Ancelotti was quick to defend Benzema, who leads the LaLiga scoring list with 25 goals this season.
“Penalties will be overlooked by those who take them, it will not affect Benzema. Karim played a great match, he is going to score the next match,” he said.
2 – Karim Benzema is the first player to miss two penalties in a LaLiga match since Raúl Tamudo against Betis in April 2006. The Frenchman is also the Real Madrid player to have missed the most penalties in a LaLiga campaign since at least 2005 / 06 (4/11). Unusual. pic.twitter.com/uzFYOsdd2E
– OptaJose (@OptaJose) April 20, 2022
Alaba limped off at the break and was subsequently pulled back during the break, but Ancelotti did not seem worried about the center-back’s injury.
“We are optimistic with Alaba. We removed him as a security measure, he has been overloaded with a lot of work,” the Italian added.
Madrid will now turn their attention to the first match of the Champions League semi-final in Manchester City on Tuesday, and Ancelotti insists that his focus will be solely on the draw and not securing the league title.
“The title? We plan to prepare well for the next match, which is the semi-final of the Champions League,” he continued.
“So let’s see what happens. We have to win. We are focused on the semi-final match and I think we will get in good shape.”