Benitez brushes off Real Madrid discontent

Rafa Benitez has downplayed pre-match jeers from the Real Madrid fans before their 10-2 La Liga win over nine-man Rayo Vallecano.

The former Liverpool boss has come under increasing criticism in recent weeks despite his side now being just two points off top spot, and some fans at the Santiago Bernabeu voiced their discontent before – and even during – the rout.

However, Benitez has brushed that reception aside, whilst defending what many view as a negative tactical approach during his reign so far. 

"I was late on to the pitch and focused on the start of the game," he told reporters. "The team looked good at the start and scored.

"As a coach you try for your team to score and want to make it hard for [the opposition] to score against you."

Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored twice against Rayo, appeared to gesture to the stands to try and calm the discontent, but Benitez says it’s something his players need to embrace.

"Players know the fans are not happy at some moments and that they [the players] have to do better. We tried to do that," he said.

Although Madrid ended up comfortable winners in a non-contest, they initially struggled and conceded twice in the first 12 minutes before the visitors had Tito and Raul Baena sent off.

"First we scored by getting behind their defence, then we lacked intensity and conceded," Benitez added. "During the game we lost concentration at times but overall the team did what they had to do, took control of the game and scored goals.

"The players scored early and the fans were happy. When we make mistakes, nobody wants that to happen, but we rectified things."