Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti backed Karim Benzema to bounce back after missing two penalties in a 3-1 win over Osasuna on Wednesday.
Ante Budimir canceled David Alaba’s first game in the 12th minute before Marco Asensio restored Madrid’s good in El Sadar.
Benzema was 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 faced Real Betis in April 2006.
Lucas Vazquez put league leaders to victory during the standoff as Madrid trailed by 17 points to their nearest rivals Atletico Madrid, with distant rivals Sevilla and Barcelona playing on Thursday.
Speaking after the game, Ancelotti quickly defended Benzema, who leads the LaLiga charts by 25 goals this season.
The pennies they take they do not get, they will not disturb Benzema. Karim has played a great game, he will play the next game, ”he said.
Alaba limped during the break and was withdrawn in time, but Ancelotti did not appear to be worried about the defender’s injury.
“We are hopeful for Alaba. We have removed him as a defensive measure, he is full of a lot of work,” added the Italian.
Madrid will now focus on the first leg of the Champions League semi-final at Manchester City on Tuesday, with Ancelotti insisting that his focus will be on the game and not on the league title.
“The trophy? We are planning to prepare well for the next game, which is the Champions League semi-final,” he continued.
“Then let’s see what happens. We need to win. We are focused on the semi-finals and I think we will get in good form.”