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Eden Hazard benched Ancelotti claims Madrid ‘deserved to win’

Ancelotti claims Madrid 'deserved to win'

Eden Hazard benched Ancelotti claims Madrid ‘deserved to win’

Carlo Ancelotti believes Real Madrid “deserved” to beat Osasuna in Sunday’s draw, but called for a reaction from his players as he defended his decision to keep Eden Hazard benched.

The Belgium international was a spectator as Los Blancos slipped to a 1-1 draw against their visitors, with Karim Benzema fluffing a potential match-winning penalty to ensure the spoils were shared.

The club’s first dropped points of the domestic season saw them surrender top spot to rivals Barcelona, with the pair’s Clasico encounter – which takes place in just under a fortnight – set to represent a huge moment in the title race.

Speaking after Sunday’s stalemate, Ancelotti acknowledged his team’s frustrations after they dominated for long periods, but added that he anticipates a response.

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“This team is upset when it doesn’t win,” he stated. “The game was under our control and we deserved to win.

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“We’re not happy and that’s the reason why this side won a lot last year. We’re not happy with the draw and we will react soon.

“We shouldn’t be making excuses about the [international] break. We need to manage the break. We’ve got a very good squad.”

Mariano Diaz was preferred to Hazard when Ancelotti required attacking reinforcements in the second half, and the Italian was succinct in his reasoning for the Belgian’s absence.

“It was a game that needed a strong centre forward who was good in the air like Mariano, who had chances to score with his head,” he added. “It wasn’t the right match for Hazard’s qualities.”

Meanwhile, Thibaut Courtois missed the game through a case of sciatica, but Ancelotti is hopeful he could return as soon as the club’s midweek Champions League encounter with Shakhtar Donetsk.

“He’s got some tests and we’ll see if he can get back,” he stated. “It’s a muscular issue, I think it’s with the sciatic nerve. We’ll find out if he can play on Wednesday.”