Has Sampaoli’s approach with many midfielders surprised you? “No, we thought precisely that, that they were going to seek control. We were good in the first part, pressing high… and it cost us something in the second. With the 1-1 it seemed that they had more control, but with some moves we won. It was a good match for us”.
Is this Madrid more of a squad than a starting lineup? “Today I want to highlight those who have come on from the bench: Camavinga, Lucas Vázquez, Asensio… and also what Vinicius has done, giving two assists to an empty goal. That means much more than a goal and I have told him, that he has to go even happier. It shows great humility.”
What limit does Vinicius have? “He’s at a very high level and he needs continuity, but it’s not easy, because facing takes a lot of energy. To progress, you must work on this.”
match evaluation: “I think what happened is that in the first half, it cost us to recover the ball. I think we did well in this aspect and lowered the level in the second half. When we conceded the goal, we lost confidence. The changes have given the team energy and confidence. A spectacular counter, the pass from Asensio, Vinicius…”.
How are Valverde and Benzema?: “It was a blow to the leg, we have to see if it can happen. Karim will return on Sunday”.
doHow do you rate the team’s reaction?: “The changes have brought a lot to the team. Those who have been replaced have done very well. We have a spectacular bench, with attitude. They make the difference. The template is healthy. It is a moment that we do not have to look too far ahead and we have to endure. The demand is very great”.
Template: “It is a team that I like to train, it does not give me a problem. He is very respectful. It’s one of the best if not the best I’ve ever had.”
Benzema is having problems, should he rotate more?: “Karim is very important to us. We have been able to replace a player as important as Karim. This means that he will be more important in the second part of the season.”
Bet with Valverde: “We take into account that last year he only scored one and he has risked a lot. He is a very responsible person and he is doing well. He rarely bets on players. I don’t usually do it.”
Sixth game that Benzema has lost, does it worry you?: “We are not worried, it is a very small thing. He’s healthy and motivated, he’s still important to us.”
Madness with Valverde: “Let’s wait a bit with Valverde. In the future it could be Valverde”.
Marco Asensio and his importance in the team: “I think he is not adapting to this. He is a great player. He is taking advantage of the few minutes I am giving him. I think he has made the difference alongside Vinicius”.
Excessive harshness with Vinicius: “It is normal. He is a dangerous player. Face a lot, it’s normal. Sometimes it works out and other times it doesn’t. The most important players have a special marking
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“We have a spectacular bench”