Madrid boss Ancelotti praises hat-trick hero Asensio

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Real Madrid's Marco Asensio (R) vies with Atalanta's Rafael Toloi during a UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg football match between Atalanta and Real Madrid in Bergamo, Italy, Feb. 24, 2021. (Xinhua)

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti was full of praise for striker Marco Asensio who scored a hat-trick in his side's 6-1 win at home to Mallorca on Wednesday night.

The win lifted Real Madrid back to the top of LaLiga.

Asensio had played less than 70 minutes of football this season and the press had started to speculate about his future at the club, but given a chance by the Italian coach, he showed his worth with three goals against the club where he began his career.

"He can do a lot of damage in that position," said Ancelotti about Asensio's role behind Karim Benzema, who also scored twice on the night.

"Asensio was able to move between the lines and with the finishing ability that he has, he is a danger for our rivals. He has got a good shot, he is able to combine with other players and I hope he can score three goals in our next game," added the coach, who admitted that although the forward can also play on the wing, "when he moves inside, he has the ball on his left foot and he is very dangerous."

Asensio was also happy to put a difficult start to the season behind him.

"I knew I had to take my chance and I am happy about the win and the goals. It was a special game as I have a lot of affection for Mallorca," he said.

"There is a lot of competition in the squad, but the coach can count on me and I am prepared for when I get the chance," continued the striker, who admitted he liked playing in a more central role, but "I'll play wherever I'm asked to."

Real Madrid's next game is on Saturday at home to Villarreal, who claimed their first win of the season with a 4-1 against Elche at home on Wednesday. 

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