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Real Madrid players love playing with Vinicius, says Solari

03:30 EAT 04/02/2019
The forward scored one and helped set up another as the Blancos beat Deportivo Alaves 3-0 in La Liga on Sunday

Real Madrid's squad love playing alongside Vinicius Junior, according to head coach Santiago Solari.

Vinicius played a starring role for Madrid against Deportivo Alaves on Sunday, as they moved to within two points of second-placed Atletico ahead of their derby clash on Saturday.

Youngster Vinicius, who has established himself as a first-team regular in recent weeks, scored one and helped create another as Madrid won 3-0, and Solari was full of praise for the attacker.

"He has done a great match, Vinicius, and was applauded from the [Santiago] Bernabeu," Solari told a news conference.

"He is responding very well when he plays and in training.

"We are delighted with his arrival and his performances, and he always has the support of the mature players in the squad, who take care of him, love him and they advise him."

Vinicius' pinpoint pass played in Sergio Reguilon to tee up Karim Benzema's opener, and the former Flamengo forward wrapped up the points with a neat finish late on.

Mariano Diaz's goal added further gloss in stoppage time, and Vinicius said he is playing with no fear despite having the responsibility of representing one of the world's biggest clubs.

"It does not scare me, I play in Madrid, in the best team in the world, I do not fear anything," Vinicius said.

"I play where the coach believes is better, I will do everything to help, on the right, the left or in the middle, I will continue working to win with Madrid.

"We have returned better in 2019. It is our best moment since the beginning of the season and we will continue to work like this to continue on this path until the end of the season."

Despite having recovered to third-place after a terrible start to La Liga season, Real are still eight points behind league leaders Barcelona.

The Classico fixture for the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday could provide a welcome distraction for the Blancos.