Carlo Ancelotti hailed the contribution of his ‘BBC’ attacking trident after Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo all scored twice each in Real Madrid’s 6-1 Champions League last 16 first leg win at Schalke.
Ancelotti started the trio -- dubbed the BBC by Spain’s sports media -- together up front for the first time in seven games, and was rewarded with some outstanding finishing and combination play throughout the 90 minutes.
The Italian told Canal Plus after the game that all three had put in superb performances.
“The three scored, they were very good in attack, but they also had the help of their teammates,” Ancelotti said. “The three are very dangerous. Benzema played very well, not only for the goals but he also helped the side in possession of the ball and in setting up goals.
"Ronaldo does not surprise me. I knew he was very motivated for this game. He played well. It could be Bale's best game of the season yet. He had more confidence and he attacked very well from deep.”
Bale told Madrid’s website that the trio’s good relationship off the pitch was seen in their link-up play during games.
“We prepared for the game perfectly, that is how we were able to impose ourselves,” the Wales winger said. “The main thing is the spirit of togetherness that the team has, which allows us to link-up together.”
Ronaldo admitted to the club site that he had been slightly frustrated going in at half-time as the only one of the "BBC" not yet on the scoresheet.
“The [Schalke] goalkeeper played well and made good saves,” the Portugal attacker said. “I believe in myself and my ability. My teammates help me a lot and they give me the confidence to play at such a high level. I scored twice in the second half so I am very happy."
Benzema told Canal Plus that he had particularly enjoyed the combination play with his fellow attackers during the game.
“To win away from home, and to win this way, is very good,” said the France centre-forward. “We were playing against a very high-level opponent, so we are very happy.
"I, always, play for my teammates and also scored two goals. That makes me happy. We are in very good form at the moment. We will see if we can continue like this.”
While Jese Rodriguez also impressed [without scoring] as a late substitute for Bale, Ancelotti suggested that the "BBC" would get another airing in Sunday’s top-of-the-table Primera Division clash at neighbours Atletico Madrid.
“All the squad is fit, there are fresh players,” he said. “There could be changes, but it is not easy to change when you play like this. I hope we can repeat today’s game on Sunday.”