Carlo Ancelotti was full of praise for Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese’s five-goal haul helped Real Madrid to a stunning 9-1 win over Granada, but urged the need for his side to maintain focus.
Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in the space of eight first-half minutes before adding two more after the break on Sunday, with Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema also on target, the latter twice.
Diego Mainz’s own-goal capped an impressive victory, with Ancelotti suggesting Ronaldo’s improvement formed part of a wider Real recovery.
“He has got better as the team has got better. It’s the first time he has scored five goals at Madrid. It’s good for him and good for the team,” Ancelotti explained.
“We are naturally happy, but it was only one game. We have another important game on Wednesday [against Rayo Vallecano].
“The team is fresh and we showed that. We started with a good tempo and we scored a lot of goals.
“We’re happy with the performance but it’s only one game and we have to concentrate on Wednesday now to be the same as we were today
“We must highlight how the team has returned to playing as we want. It was important to win, and to play well, and we’ve done that.”
Amid Ronaldo’s heroics, James Rodriguez made his first appearance since February following a broken metatarsal.
The Colombian replaced suspended midfielder Isco with Ancelotti acknowledging he faces some tricky decisions when all his players are available.
“I can’t put 12 players out. If someone isn’t a hundred percent they won’t play. If everyone is one hundred percent it is up to me to decide who will be left out,” the Italian added.
“He had a good game. It didn’t seem like he’d gone two months without playing. He was strong, showed his quality and helped the team. He created a lot of direct play with his vision.”