Rafa Benitez admitted he was “angry” with Las Palmas’ goal in Real Madrid’s 3-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
Strikes from Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jese Rodriguez ensured Los Blancos stayed top of La Liga, despite Hernan Santana pulling one back for the new boys, but the Coach – while delighted with his side’s first-half performance – took issue with their lack of intensity after the break.
“[On Casemiro becoming a starter], it’s still too early to say,” he said after the game.
“He gives us balance and power, is playing well and allows us to get the best out of our attack.
“The start of the game was sensational. The [early] advantage could’ve relaxed us, and we spoke about that [before the game], but we didn’t.
“All the good things we did came in the first half as we lacked continuity in the second.
“I got angry when we conceded the second goal because we lacked a bit of urgency.
“The team have great quality and some of the players presumed to be playing aren’t, while those who have come in are doing well.
“[Borja] Mayoral, [Marcos] Llorente, [Kiko] Casilla … People who thought wouldn’t get minutes are winning us points.
“They have to continue working hard and showing the quality they have.
“[The critics] used to say we didn’t have any homegrown talent, but it’ll be harder for them when our usual starters return.
“Winning is always positive and I also hope we maintain the intensity we showed in the first half against PSG.
“I said the players have to prove themselves on the pitch and Jese’s doing just that. He’s working hard and that’s the key to him getting minutes.
“[Luka] Modric has some discomfort in the hip area and, as usual, we preferred not to risk him [for the second half].”