Real Madrid: 5 burning questions after loss to Shakhtar Donetsk

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Karim Benzema
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images) /

What happened to Karim Benzema?

Karim Benzema has been poor this season. We can acknowledge that he is a legend and one of the best strikers in the world, and we can talk about how much he helped the team in 2019-2020. But we must also be honest and say that Benzema has done very little to help Real Madrid to start the 2020-2021 season, even as Luka Jovic has not necessarily been much better.

Benzema dropped deep and tried to make things happen on the ball when he entered the game as a substitute, but he achieved a whole lot of nothing. The same problems continue with Benzema, too. He often clogs the middle of the field and badly mistimes runs, getting caught offside in situations where he could have easily been more disciplined.

We’re not used to seeing Benzema look this out of it. He completed 90 percent of his passes and won three dribbles, per, but none of his passes were key passes. Benzema, for the most part, wasn’t in situations where he directly threatened Shakhtar Donetsk’s goal.

As it stands, Benzema has scored just once this season – a late goal against Levante to make the game 2-0. He’s missed glorious chances and, despite his work rate, been genuinely non-threatening with the ball at his feet. If he doesn’t turn it around against Barcelona, it could be a rough Clasico for Los Merengues this weekend.