Real Madrid returned to La Liga with a dominant 3-1 victory and Karim Benzema made sure he didn’t miss out on the fun.
Los Blancos wasted little time on Sunday with the opening goal coming just inside the four-minute mark with a laser from Toni Kroos.
The number nine couldn’t add to his tally for the 2019-2020 campaign in the match, but had a hand in every goal scored.
The first displayed his ability to hold the line and catch defenders flat-footed as he burst towards a ball over the top. Benz then straddled the goal line as defenders swarmed him opening up space for Kroos to move in to before eventually scoring.
The second goal of the match once again had me wishing that hockey assists were implemented in soccer. In ice hockey, the player who passes the puck to the teammate who assists the goal scorer is also credited with an assist.
The Frenchman showed off his dribbling ability up the left-wing before cutting inside to create the play. Karim’s pass right into the stride of Hazard made it easy for the Belgian to lay it off to the oncoming Ramos for the tap in.
Finally, the third goal saw Benzema once again play the role of architect, but this time on the right-wing. With four players creating a box around him, he spun and placed a nifty through ball into space for Hazard who rifled a shot at the keeper.
Hazard’s shot was saved, but chaos had the Eibar players scrambling. It was too little too late as Marcelo hammered the final nail into the coffin.
The proof is in the pudding: Karim Benzema is a great player.
He didn’t score against Eibar but with a match leading three dribbles he was clearly a level above the rest in some respects. The great link-up with both Hazard and Rodrygo shows just how class the Frenchman is.
On the one hand, he can create chemistry with another veteran and on the other, he is able to create sparks with a youngster in his first season not only with Real Madrid, but in Europe.
With Luka Jovic unavailable for the foreseeable future, performances like this need to be a constant in this neck and neck race with Barcelona for the league title.