Benitez dismisses Gijon criticism

Rafa Benitez has dismissed criticism of Real Madrid's performance against Sporting Gijon. “We were the team with most shots on goal last weekend.”

Los Blancos only managed a goalless draw with the new boys on the opening matchday of the new La Liga season, but the Coach was quick to remind the naysayers that his side fired a round-high 27 attempts at opposing goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar.

“I was surprised with the analysis of the match because we had many chances, applied plenty of pressure and had lots of possession,” he said at a Press conference ahead of Real Betis on Saturday.

“The objective is not to win the first game but to take positives and improve on certain things. Still, we're going in the right direction.

“We drew 0-0 in Gijon and people are saying that we were defensive. I don't know if you [reporters] have access to the [match] statistics, but we were the team with the most shots on goal last weekend.

“I expect [Betis] to be a very good team, who will want to make a good account of themselves. Like Sporting, we expect a team with high hopes, who will run a lot.

“[On Madrid's Champions League group], it's not an easy group. PSG are a great team who have reinforced each year. Shakhtar have experience and good players, with many Brazilians, and Malmo – while not as strong – are champions in their country.

“[On possible signings], I'm focused on Betis and not the market. The limit [for squads] is 25 players and our squad is already very good.

“[On David de Gea's continued exile from the Manchester United squad], I'm not one to judge what other Coaches do. If I don't speak of De Gea then I'll neither talk other Coaches.

“[On Dani Ceballos], it's a question for Pepe Mel. He's a good player but it's a question for Mel.”

Tags Rafa Benitez Real Madridbvg