Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez hailed the leadership shown by Cristiano Ronaldo as he scored twice despite also missing a penalty as Madrid moved top of La Liga with a 3-1 win over Real Sociedad on Wednesday.
Ronaldo failed to even hit the target for the first time in his Madrid career from a penalty as he blasted over early on.
Yet, he made amends when the hosts were controversially awarded a second spot-kick to open the scoring and then struck his 25th goal of the season when Sociedad had Madrid on the ropes following Bruma’s stunning equaliser.
“I have congratulated him and the whole team because they were united in a situation that demanded they show character and personality,” said Benitez.
“That is why I am praising Cristiano again because, despite missing the penalty, he assumed the responsiblity again and put the team on his back to get the go-ahead goal.”
Madrid’s return to the top could be short-lived with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in action later on Wednesday.
And there was little sign of reconcilement between the home fans and the under fire Benitez as he was whistled before kick-off, whilst his decisions to substitute James Rodriguez and Karim Benzema were met with derision in the second-half.
Benitez responded to press reports on Tuesday that he remains one bad result away from the sack by claiming there is a media campaign against him.
However, Benitez admitted he wasn’t looking further ahead than Sunday’s tricky trip to his former club Valencia.
“I concentrate on the next game. Until now that was Real (Sociedad) and the next will be Valencia,” he added.
“I try to be prepared and do as well as I can.”