Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti to keep faith in Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema


Carlo Ancelotti’s main men have been goal-shy in recent weeks.

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored just three goals in his last seven games, which is a barren spell considering his high standards, while Gareth Bale is in poor form and has failed to score in eight games.

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As for Karim Benzema, the French international has scored just two goals in his last seven games as Real have been overtaken at the summit of La Liga by Barcelona.

But ahead of the second leg of Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League last 16 tie with Schalke at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday, they hold a 2-0 advantage over the Bundesliga outfit, Los Blancos boss Ancelotti shrugged off suggestions his strikers are to blame as Real have failed to score from open play in their last two matches.

“They have scored less in the last games but I think that we have to help the strikers,” Ancelotti said. “We won’t change our identity because that is how we feel most comfortable. Without doubt I have confidence in them. There has been a general dip from the team, not just them.

“I would have to drop Karim because he hasn’t scored in a few games. I would have to drop Cristiano. I don’t think Bale is happy with how he is playing but he understands that he has to improve.”

The reigning European champions are in a rut, there’s no denying that, but with Schalke arriving at the Bernabeu and an easy passage into the last eight expected by home fans, Ancelotti entrusting his faith in his under-fire stars is a smart move.

Sure, it doesn’t take an expert to know that Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema will eventually snap out of their funk and recapture their form in front of goal. Ancelotti’s vote of confidence proves once again that he is a supreme man manager who is capable of getting the best out of his squad.

That said, nothing less than a convincing home win over Schalke on Tuesday will be enough to stop the home fans waving white hankies around the Bernabeu.