Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has suggested he will stick with Karim Benzema, even as the clamour to replace the out-of-form striker with youngster Alvaro Morata increases.
• Train: Defence as a form of attack needed
Morata added to the tumult by springing from the bench at Levante on Saturday to score Madrid’s 88th-minute equaliser, before immediately retrieving the ball from the back of the net to ensure there was time for Cristiano Ronaldo’s deflected injury-time strike to give Los Blancos an undeserved 3-2 victory.
Benzema had been withdrawn on 78 minutes, after another subdued performance in which he failed to land a single shot on or off target.
The former Lyon player has now not scored in over 500 minutes of La Liga action for Madrid, and heads off to international duty with France knowing his barren spell for his country has run to well over twice that time.
Fans inside Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabeu have recently been showing their discontent with their side’s only senior striker, and have regularly chanted the name of the 20-year-old homegrown canterano.
A Marca poll held on Sunday said that 92 percent of madridistas want the youngster to replace Benzema for Malaga’s visit to the Bernabeu after the international break -- a figure up from 86 percent in a similar vote in AS last week.
However, Ancelotti told his post-game press conference at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium that Morata was perhaps too young to be given a starting role for Madrid just yet.
“Morata could play from the start, although he does not have Benzema’s experience,” the Italian said. “He is young, with enthusiasm and skill inside the area. He is important for us.”
The Spain Under-21 international himself was not getting carried away when speaking in the mixed zone on Saturday evening, remaining respectful of his more senior colleague.
“I have one of the best forwards in the world in front of me,” Morata said. “I am going on bit by bit, I know where I am and what I must do. I had the luck I did not get in other games.
“There is nothing else to do but keep battling to take advantage of the time I get on the pitch. I am training well and continuing to learn. When I get a chance to start I will be ready to take it.”