Real Madrid fans have been treated to masterclasses from forwards Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema, who are showing the budding chemistry that the club envisioned when they spent nine figures on the former Chelsea star.
Eden Hazard took some time to get acclimated to life at the Santiago Bernabeu, but Real Madrid’s newest superstar is off to the races. La Liga opponents have had nightmares against Hazard, who is beating defenders at will.
According to WhoScored.com, Hazard has completed at least six dribbles in each of his last four La Liga matchups, including a whopping 10 dribbles completed on Saturday against Real Sociedad. While Hazard hasn’t recorded a goal or an assist in league play since snagging one of each before the October break vs. Granada, he’s done plenty to help keep this attack clicking.
It’s no coincidence that during Hazard’s breakout, Karim Benzema has been scoring at an even higher clip. He has seven goals in his last three games, as both he and Hazard have been devastating back fours in the Champions League and La Liga over the past several weeks.
Benzema currently leads La Liga with 10 goals in 12 appearances, and his brace against Galatasaray is a sign that more goals are forthcoming in European competition. With Hazard bridging the defense and attack, Benzema has more space to operate. Hazard drops off deep, collects the ball, accelerates, and weaves his way through overmatched defenders to set up the opposition for Benzema’s best moves inside the penalty area.
Real Madrid needed someone like Hazard to take on the brunt of the attacking work on the outside, carrying the ball into the final third and allowing other attacking players to swiftly join the counters he starts.
Benzema’s awareness off the ball, work rate, and technical ability make him an ideal partner for Hazard, and both men are building a telepathic relationship. As stars of the past and even current young players like Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior can attest, building chemistry with Benzema is easy. But being on the same wavelength as Benz? Well, that takes a special player with football genius on Benzema’s level.
Hazard certainly fits the bill, and it has been truly special to watch these two players in their prime unlock defenses. Benzema is supplying the majority of the goals, while Hazard is putting in the work of bamboozling defenders with high-quality dribbles and clever lay-offs.
Both men will be key to victory against an improved PSG defense under Thomas Tuchel. And, of course, Real Madrid will be tasked with scoring in order to keep up with PSG’s own vaunted attack.
After some struggles to start the season, Eden Hazard has hit the ground running, returning to his elite status. As Hazard has rounded into form, Real’s attack as a whole has awakened, and it is the partnership between the Belgian and the French international that deserves the highest of praise.