Real Madrid: Three biggest mistakes made by Carlo Ancelotti against PSG

Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images) /

3. Decision to start a half-fit Karim Benzema

There was a lot of talk surrounding Benzema’s availability for the big clash in the buildup, as the Frenchman had injured his hamstring in the 2-2 draw against Elche. He hadn’t played a single minute since that game, and there were concerns regarding his availability and fitness. ESPN’s Rodrigo Faez had also mentioned in a podcast that Benzema was going to go against his doctor’s advice and play the game against PSG.

Ancelotti put an end to all the pre-match speculation by naming Benzema in his starting XI. Well, it was a huge relief for the fans to see their best player return in time for an important clash, but at the same time, there were some doubts if Benzema was at his 100%.

And after the game, those doubts did prove to be right because Benzema had a bad game on his return from injury, and never looked like a player who’s completely fit. He couldn’t run well and couldn’t play like his usual self, being limited to just 38 touches and zero shots attempted. 

Benzema, being the on-field captain for Real Madrid, is expected to lead by example and motivate his teammates. But what could the poor guy have done when he himself wasn’t able to get going. Maybe Benzema was a bit too eager to return soon, but Carlo Ancelotti, being the manager should have realised that there is another leg to be played and should have rested the Frenchman or at least named him on the bench. And what was the point of using Benzema from the beginning when the manager’s aim was to return home after accomplishing a 0-0 draw.

Ferland Mendy is another player who returned from injury and never looked to be at his best during the game. But what else could Ancelotti have done in his case? He couldn’t have afforded to start a defensive liability in Marcelo, and he would’ve never trusted Miguel Gutierrez for a game, forget thinking about big games.

Next. 3 things we learned from Real Madrid's loss to PSG. dark

In Benzema’s case also we can say the same thing that no replacement can play as well as Benzema. But one thing we can say for sure is that there are more realistic options to consider in Benzema’s case when compared to Mendy.