Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti understands Eden Hazard’s frustration and is sorry to have been left on the bench again for Wednesday’s 2-1 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk.
Hazard has only made one appearance in Madrid’s four Champions League games this season, starting with the 2-1 home loss to Sheriff.
Belgium international Hazard has managed just five starts and five bench appearances in all competitions, totaling 409 minutes this season, with Vinicius Junior excelling in an attacking role on the left side.
The situation has led to speculation that Hazard, who was a record signing for Los Blancos from Chelsea in 2019, could leave Madrid in January, even more fueled after being left to warm up and sit idle on the bench as Ancelotti has chose to make only two changes against Shakhtar.
“Getting angry is normal. I think getting angry is the right reaction to deal with this situation,” Ancelotti said at the post-game press conference midweek. “I fully understand a player who has not played.
“I also understand the feeling of a player who warms up for 40 minutes in the second half and ultimately doesn’t play. I’m really sorry. I told the players: I’m sorry, but I didn’t want to make a replacement. .
“Marcelo has been warming up for 40 minutes. And Marcelo has won many Champions Leagues. I’m so sorry. My duty in this way is very ugly and complicated.”
Hazard, 30, has managed just one assist this quarter while Vinicius, 21, added two more assists for Karim Benzema’s goals against Shakhtar on either side of Fernando’s equalizer at the 39th minute.
Vinicius has been involved in six goals in four games against Shakhtar in the Champions League (three goals and three assists) – more than against any other team he has encountered in the competition. Forty-six of his Champions League goals were against the Ukrainian team (six out of 13).
The Brazil international has scored (two) or assisted (three) five of Madrid’s last six Champions League goals, while Benzema has scored (three) or assisted (one) four of his last five.
“He’s on a very good run, both in terms of goals and assists,” said Ancelotti. “Both goals belonged to him. The first came from his high press and the other followed the liaison game with Casemiro and Benzema. He is in great shape.”
Madrid’s victory was marred by taunts from home fans at the Santiago Bernabeu, angered by the team’s inability to dominate the game.
The two teams both managed 13 shots apiece, with the La Liga champions having 6-5 on target and owning 55% possession.
“Yes, I understand that because I know that atmosphere very well,” Ancelotti said of the taunts. “It is the public who ask for a lot.
“We started well, but came down a bit later. Too much control of possession, but not very aggressive defensively. It can happen and it’s good to have the fans waking us up with boos. , it helps us. “