Real Madrid: Santiago Solari impressed by team’s focus and Gareth Bale’s skill in CWC semifinal win

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 19: Santiago Solari, Manager of Real Madrid attends the post match press conference after victory in the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final match between Kashima Antlers and Real Madrid at Zayed Sports City Stadium on December 19, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by David Ramos - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 19: Santiago Solari, Manager of Real Madrid attends the post match press conference after victory in the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final match between Kashima Antlers and Real Madrid at Zayed Sports City Stadium on December 19, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by David Ramos - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari had nothing but good things to say about his team on Wednesday night in Abu Dhabi after defeating Kashima Antlers 3-1 in the semifinal of the FIFA Club World Cup. Here is what he said in his press conference.

Santiago Solari has been in charge in Madrid since Halloween and he has now won a game in four different competitions. Thanks in large part to a stunning hat-trick from Gareth Bale, Los Blancos cruised to the final of the biggest international club tournament FIFA has to offer.

Solari had nothing but great things to say about the Welsh forward in his post-match remarks.

"“He was blow everything out of the water: the lights, the nets, the stands,” he said. “He had a spellbinding match, and showed who he is and what he is capable of. We are thrilled for him and now he needs to rest up and do it all again in the next match.”"

After going through a bit of a goal drought, Bale has found his form since the beginning of November. He has scored seven goals between the win over Viktoria Plzen on November 7th and the Club World Cup on Wednesday night.

Gareth was not the only impressive player in the match as fullback Marcelo looked more like a midfielder than a defender with the way he moved up the field and assisted two of Bale’s goals.

After making his return against Eibar toward the end of November, the Real Madrid number 12 has slowly but surely been returning to form. However, Solari wants to see more from the best left-back in the world.

"“I don’t think this is the best we’ve seen from Marcelo, he played very well, but I hope he’s even better in the final. He’s a wonderful player and he has to keep pushing himself, both going forward and in defense.”"

Even though Los Blancos conceded a consolation goal late in the match, the Champions League winners were in a league of their own against the clearly outmatched AFC Champions League winners, Kashima.

The only negative takeaways from the win in the semifinal on Wednesday night in the UAE was the late goal allowed, and the injury to Marco Asensio in his very short cameo in the second half.

The Spaniard replaced Gareth Bale in the 60th minute but could only manage 14 minutes on the pitch before Solari had to pull him off.

"“These things happen,” Solari said. “There was nothing wrong with him, he came on and played until he couldn’t go on. We’ll look at what he’s got and hope it’s nothing serious. He’s an important player and it’s a shame he had to come off.”"

Next. Marco Asensio misses training as Real Madrid prepare for the FIFA Club World Cup final. dark

Marco was doubtful to play in the match to begin with due to a lingering ailment, but after being forced off in this match, the Real Madrid manager will be kicking himself for choosing to play Asensio when he wasn’t totally fit.

On to the final of the FIFA Club World Cup against Al Ain on Saturday!

Stay tuned to The Real Champs for more great Real Madrid coverage!