Ancelotti: Ronaldo doesn't need goals to shine

The Portuguese has failed to net since January 18 in La Liga but his Italian coach was pleased by the forward’s performance against Deportivo

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti insists that he is not in the least bit perturbed by Cristiano Ronaldo’s three-game goal drought.

The Portugal international struck 28 times during his first 17 games of the Liga season but has not managed to find the back of the net since bagging a double in the 3-0 win at Getafe on January 18.

Ronaldo received a great deal of criticism after going ahead with his 30th birthday celebrations following last weekend’s 4-0 humbling at the hands of city rivals Atletico Madrid and failed to silence his critics in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Deportivo, with Isco and Karim Benzema instead inspiring Los Blancos to victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, Ancelotti sees no cause for concern, pointing out that Ronaldo played his part in Real’s triumph with an assist for Benzema.

“Cristiano didn’t score but created danger throughout the match,” he told reporters afterwards. “He assisted on a goal and didn’t misplace passes.

“It wasn’t an easy match. We had a complicated week but we won in the end. Our fans helped us.”

Lucas Silva made his first appearance for Madrid following his January transfer from Corinthians. Ancelotti was pleased with what he saw from his new recruit during the Brazilian’s 15-minute cameo and also found time to praise in-form attacking midfielder Isco.

“Lucas came on for Asier Illarramendi and had a good debut,” the Italian coach added. “I think that he is ready to play as starter. 

“Isco, meanwhile, is enjoying a very good moment and we should enjoy his performances.”

Madrid’s victory over Depor moves them four points clear of Barcelona at the top of the Primera Division, with the Catalans set to host Levante at Camp Nou on Sunday.

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