David Bettoni praises Real Madrid’s return to form with win over Alaves

PA

David Bettoni was delighted with Real Madrid’s performance as they emphatically bounced back from their shock Copa del Rey exit with a 4-1 victory at Alaves.

Three days on from the embarrassing loss to third-tier Alcoyano, Real scored three times in the first half at Mendizorroza.

Casemiro opened the scoring with a 15th-minute header before Karim Benzema added a fierce 41st-minute strike having been teed up by Eden Hazard, who then slotted in the third moments later.

Joselu reduced the deficit with a header just prior to the hour mark before Benzema struck his second in the 70th minute.

It was a first win in four games in all competitions for Real, whose boss Zinedine Zidane was absent from the contest after testing positive for coronavirus.

“It was a deserved victory. We played very well from the start. We had the ball and dominated the game,” Bettoni told the club’s official website.

“We had to be very solid defensively, as Alaves are a team who play very well when the ball is turned over, they focus a lot and fight for the ball.

“I’m very pleased with the way the team played. For the changes, I wanted to know what the coach thought because he’s the boss and the most important person in the team.

“Zidane was very delighted with the team’s attitude and the way they played. I congratulated the players as he would have done. There’s nothing special. Every game is a different story.

“I’m pleased to get the three points and for the team’s performance. We’re now going to rest and prepare for the match against Levante.”

Hazard scored his first LaLiga goal since October and Bettoni insisted Los Blancos will remain patient with the Belgian as he aims to regain the form that took him from Chelsea to the Bernabeu.

“The decision to replace Hazard with Vinicius Junior was to offer us a more direct threat,” Bettoni added.

“He performed well for the 63 minutes he was out there. He’s fine and bringing Vini on was just because we wanted to freshen things up.

“Eden has had a tough time of things with injuries over the past season and a half, but we’ve got to be patient with him.

“It’s true that in the world of football and at Real Madrid patience is hard to come by, but we’ve got great faith in Eden.

“He put in a great performance tonight and got an assist and a goal. We saw flashes of Hazard at his best tonight and we’ll come to see that now in every game.”

Manager Abelardo Fernandez said in post-match comments broadcast by LaLiga’s YouTube channel that Alaves had “disappeared” after Real Madrid’s first goal.

“We had disastrous defensive movements and against a team like Real Madrid that will hurt”, Fernandez said, adding that his side would need in future to “work hard and be more solid”.

Alaves defender Victor Laguardia told his club’s website: “It was not the day the team nor the fans dreamed of, but it’s time for us to get up again now.”

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