Carlo Ancelotti is already thinking about Sunday’s El Clasico with Barcelona

Real Madrid travelled to Ukraine this evening to take on Shakhtar Donetsk in a crucial Champions League tie, and secured an excellent 5-0 victory to ensure they got back to winning ways.

Madrid were second in Champions League Group D heading into the game, two points clear of Inter and Shakhtar but three behind leaders Sheriff, the Moldovan underdogs who beat them 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu in their last European fixture.

Madrid took the lead in the 38th minute, but it wasn’t of their own doing. Sergey Krivstov was trying to defend a ball over the top – he was cogniscent of Benzema lurking over his shoulder – but directed it past his own goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

The visitors doubled their lead in the 51st minute. Benzema did well to carry the ball down the left flank before finding Modric, who played a one-touch pass into Vinicius Junior in the box. The Brazilian controlled calmly and finished coolly to make it 2-0.

He made it 3-0 shortly after. This time Benzema played a short pass to him before he set off on a mazy run, eventually working his way into the box before finishing with real composure.

Vinicius then turned creator to set his compatriot Rodrygo up for a goal. Benzema was again involved, this time releasing Vinicius down the inside-left channel to enable the Brazilian to square the ball charitably for Rodrygo, whose hand didn’t shake.

After such an influential performance, Benzema got the goal he deserved in injury time. Marco Asensio lofted the ball into him in the box – he controlled the pass, steadied himself, and scored.

 

Carlo Ancelotti was content after the final whistle, keen to praise Vinicius as well as look forward to the small matter of Sunday’s El Clasico with great rivals Barcelona.

“[Vinicius] did well,” the Italian coach said in comments carried by Marca on the final whistle. “Today it’s difficult to choose [a man-of-the-match]. We were good from the first moment. We knew about the danger they posed and [our performance] gives us confidence. But Barcelona is another game, another story.

“I have to keep in mind that I liked the performance a lot,” Ancelotti continued when asked whether he was going to pick the same team for Barcelona. “[Fede] Valverde is key and I gave him rest. We have to evaluate things in the coming days.”

Tags Carlo Ancelotti Real Madrid