Carlo Ancelotti and Angel Di Maria gave their support to Karim Benzema after the Real Madrid striker was whistled regularly by his own team’s fans during the 4-1 win over Getafe at the Bernabeu.
Benzema began Sunday’s game having scored four goals in his first five Madrid games this season, but nevertheless having been the target of some discontent at the Bernabeu during previous outings, and also having been dropped by France coach Didier Deschamps after going 1,217 minutes without a goal at international level.
The former Lyon player then had a nightmare against Getafe, missing an open goal in each half, and showing low confidence with some poor touches and mishit passes. Murmurs and then whistles rang around the stadium after a series of mistakes just after half-time, with Madrid’s Ultras Sur chanting the name of young substitute centre-forward Alvaro Morata.
Madrid’s players were clearly aware of the awkward situation on the pitch, with Alvaro Arbeloa pointedly applauding his team-mate after Benzema had headed over from point-blank range midway through the second period.
Speaking to reporters afterwards, Di Maria said the whistles had been unfair.
“The whistling of Karim seemed ugly to me,” the in-form Argentine winger said in AS. “Morata missed another chance, and nobody whistled him. You must be fair with everyone.”
Ancelotti preferred to stick to the positive during his post-game press conference, pointing out that many supporters inside the stadium had applauded the striker as he left the field with ten minutes remaining.
“I believe Benzema did a good job. He had many chances to score,” the Italian coach said. “The fans’ reaction was good because he was clapped. I do not believe Benzema will feel low because he is a player with character, even though he does not talk much. Sometimes to motivate a player, applause is good or whistles are good. These are normal things on the pitch.”