Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has heaped praise on Eden Hazard for filling Karim Benzema‘s role in their 3-0 win over Scottish side Celtic in the UEFA Champions League group stage match on September 6.
The Belgium international was also praised by his teammate Toni Kross for his incredible role after Benzema was subbed off due to a knee injury in the first half.
Hazard scored his first goal of the new season and put up a promising performance in the game. The Belgian winger has had difficulty finding his consistency with the Spanish team after being injured for most of his spell in Madrid.
In 2019, Los Blancos made a blockbuster move for Hazard, signing him from Chelsea in a deal worth £100 million. The Belgian became the second most expensive player after Gareth Bale in Real Madrid’s history. However, the signing turned out to be a bane for the club as Hazard was ravaged by injury and fitness issues and rarely had the opportunity to deliver what was expected of him.
Since the start of the new La Liga season, Ancelotti has shown signs of using the winger as a substitute to avoid any further injuries.
On Wednesday, Ancelotti decided to field Hazard after Benzema sustained a serious blow to the knee in the first half of the game and the Belgian stole the limelight with a fantastic performance. He had a hand in all three of Madrid’s goals, bagging a goal and an assist each.
Appriciating Hazard during the post-match presentation, Real Madrid boss Ancelotti said (quoted by 90Min):
“I thought this was a game for Eden. His position, a bit deeper, could help us… He was clinical, we scored the second thanks to him and he was in the box to score the third. A perfect game for him.”
Kroos reiterated his confidence in the abilities of Hazard and believes that the Belgian will show his class if he remains fit for the rest of the season. He said:
“It’s never been a question of quality [with Hazard]. It’s been his physical condition, his injuries. Today he came on and did well, let’s hope he carries on like that.”
Real Madrid star Karim Benzema set to miss out three weeks after a knee injury
Real Madrid have confirmed Benzema’s injury might put him off the field for at least three weeks after tests revealed medical issues with his right knee.
The French striker was subbed off in the 30th minute of the game on Wednesday, and the required medical tests were done to understand the seriousness of the injury.
Confirming Karim Benzema’s injury, the Real Madrid statement read:
”Following tests carried out on our player Karim Benzema by the Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with an injury to the semitendinosus tendon and a strain to the quadricep muscle in his right thigh. His recovery will continue to be assessed.”