Real’s Benitez rejects defensive claim from Blanc

Published 10/20/2015, 3:52 PM EDT
Real Madrid coach Rafa Benitez reacts before their Spanish first division soccer match against Athletic Bilbao at San Mames stadium in Bilbao, northern Spain, September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Vincent West


PARIS (Reuters) – Real Madrid coach Rafa Benitez went on the attack on Tuesday as he dismissed Paris St Germain coach Laurent Blanc’s observation that the Spanish giants prefer to defend rather than score goals.

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Since Benitez’s arrival at the Bernabeu this season he has made Real more solid unit at the back, conceding two goals from eight games in La Liga and none from two matches in Europe but he denied such statistics meant he is defensive.

“Our team attacks and if you look at the statistics they show that we attack and try and win games,” Benitez told a news conference on the eve of Real’s Champions League Group A showdown with PSG in Paris.

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“My case is made by looking at the statistics from when I was at Chelsea, Napoli and Madrid.

“Here (in Spain) we are the side that is scoring most goals. If we have to attack then we will do and when we need to defend then we are able to do that. Basically we are an attacking side.”

In an earlier press conference Blanc said it would be a battle between two styles of football.

“I think Madrid are quite defensive but also efficient and let in few goals,” said Blanc.

“We are going to see two separate styles. I want to have the ball and from what I have seen of Madrid they defend and go out on the counter-attack.”

It is a crunch game at the top of Group A with both sides on six points from two games.

Real face PSG in the midst of an injury crisis with Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez among those missing.

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However, Benitez is confident that Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos are ready to return.

“Modric has been brought here because we think he is fit. We will now have to see how he is in training,” he said.

“Sergio knows that if he has an injection then he will be able to play but after that he will have some pain.”

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(Reporting by Tim Hanlon in Barcelona, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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