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Real Madrid: Ancelotti explains Hazard substitution in Mallorca win

Eden Hazard, Real Madrid
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The Belgian star made his first Real Madrid start since January but didn’t play the full 90 minutes.

Carlo Ancelotti has defended Eden Hazard’s performance against Mallorca.

The former Chelsea star played for 60 minutes after starting for the Blancos at Santiago Bernabeu. The performance came after Hazard’s impressive display against Celtic last Tuesday.

The Belgian star failed to make an impact in his side’s 4-1 win over Mallorca. However, Ancelotti says his decision to sub off Hazard had tactical reasons.

“It’s better to use Rodrygo as a nine with Valverde rather than just Hazard,” Ancelotti told reporters post-match. 

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“We had difficulties not because Hazard was there, but because the other positions weren’t occupied by the others. Hazard can play centre-forward.”

Ancelotti decided against sending in Marco Asensio, who has played only 17 minutes so far this season. The Spaniard expressed his frustration by kicking a water bottle at the touchline. 

“We were preparing if we didn’t make it 2-1 to put Mariano and Asensio in,” Ancelotti explained.

“Lucas has been injured, and we only had one window, and I didn’t think about making that change.

“If he is angry, I agree with him. It’s normal, it means you want to play, feel important. In this period, he has been the most affected player in the squad and I take that into account. I totally agree with his anger, nothing happens.”