Marco Asensio has been singled out for individual praise by Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti after his match-winning display in Sunday’s 1-0 triumph over Granada.
Asensio proved to be Madrid’s most likely attacking outlet in the absence of the injured Karim Benzema and suspended Vinicius Junior.
The Spanish forward, who has netted six LaLiga goals this term, scored the 74th-minute winner and was denied another by an outstanding save from Granada goalkeeper Luis Maximiano.
“He’s a very important player,” Ancelotti told reporters after the game. “He’s scored a lot this season, he’s made a lot of goals, and is very committed defensively, which is important for us.
“I don’t know if he’s a starter, but he’s an important player. He is reliable, he works hard and we won the game today thanks to his best quality, his shooting.
“He returned from a difficult period of injuries full of confidence.”
The hard-fought victory keeps Los Blancos top of LaLiga by six points from second-placed Sevilla, following a difficulty with availability down.
Madrid had drawn 2-2 with Elche in their last league game while they were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Athletic 1-0 in midweek.
“This is an important week for us because we’ve had a really tough period with some long trips and we didn’t come into this game at 100 per cent,” Ancelotti said.
“We had six players out for tonight’s match and I hope to have them all back for our next game.”
Madrid face Villarreal in LaLiga on Saturday before returning to the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain in the last-16.
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