La Liga giants Real Madrid may have suffered a huge blow ahead of their UEFA Champions League clash against Liverpool as two big stars were substituted due to injury scares during the 2-0 win over Valencia on February 2. Eder Militao was substituted in the first half, while Karim Benzema was substituted by Los Blancos coach Carlo Ancelotti in the second half.
While speaking to reporters via Real Madrid's official website about the injury scares suffered by Eder Militao and Karim Benzema during the clash against Valencia, Carlo Ancelotti said, "The negative aspect was the injury situation. Militao's is more serious than Karim's, who seems lighter. Militao won't be available on Sunday and these are things that happen at this stage of the season." Los Blancos are set to face Mallorca this Sunday before they compete in the Club World Cup semi-final.
While the injury scares are a concern for Real Madrid, Ancelotti said that he is delighted with the side's progress. "We are in line with what we thought at the start of the season," said the Italian manager. "The new players have been incorporated well and we have coped well with Karim's absence in a number of games. We have one more point than last year and we have scored more goals." Los Blancos have so far scored 40 goals after 19 La Liga games, the most in the league.
After potentially losing both Éder Militão and Karim Benzema due to injuries, Real Madrid would feel fortunate that Vinícius Júnior escaped unscathed after being fouled by Gabriel Paulista in the second half of the clash against Valencia. Paulista viciously kicked Vinícius's leg which sent the Brazilian forward to the ground.
While Paulista deservedly received a red card for his challenge, the incident could have seriously injured Vinícius. Valencia coach Voro González too admitted that Paulista deserved to be sent off as he said (as quoted by AP), "What Paulista did wasn’t correct, it was a clear red card. The match was already tough, and it became impossible with a player down."