The moment Chelsea’s security almost didn’t let Benzema into Stamford Bridge
Karim Benzema is probably still haunting the dreams of Chelsea supporters and players alike, but things could have been very different in West London last week if the player hadn’t been allowed into the ground. It sounds preposterous, but the French striker was stopped outside as he wasn’t carrying the proper accreditation when he stepped down from the team bus ahead of the Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Los Blancos took a commanding lead in the quarter-final tie with a 3-1 victory in which Benzema scored a hat-trick, his second in consecutive Champions League games, and it’s fair to say the Spanish side aren’t the same without their talisman. It was just as well for Carlo Ancelotti’s team that, after some frantic searching, he was able to find his pass and enter Stamford Bridge.
Benzema has since shared a video of the incident on his Instagram account and his coach even spoke about it.
“Before the game, Benzema was not able to find his pass to enter into the stadium, so I told him ‘be fast or you can’t play!’ and then, luckily, Karim found the pass,” Ancelotti told Amazon Prime.
“Karim Benzema is getting better every day; just like a fine wine. He’s more of a leader every day, he feels more and more important in this team and this squad. And I think that’s what makes the difference.
“He has so much more personality, he knows he’s a very important player for us and he’s an example for everyone.”
Saturday night was a successful one for Carlo Ancelotti, as Real Madrid were able to defeat Getafe 2-0 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu for three more LaLiga Santander points, at the same time as resting Luka Modric and Toni Kroos ahead of the upcoming Champions League quarter-final second leg. Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga started alongside Casemiro in their stead and the Uruguayan and Frenchman performed well.
Casemiro is back to his best, even scoring his first goal of the season against Getafe after he’d also played so well against Chelsea. He’ll now miss the Sevilla game on Sunday, though, after picking up a yellow card accumulation suspension.
Normally, that would have been a major headache for Ancelotti. But, in Valverde and Camavinga, he has two young midfielders who are up and coming and already performing for the club.
Camavinga has impressed the crowd at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, winning back the ball time and time again and breaking lines with a level of confidence that is surprising to see in a teenager.
Just days after Valverde stood out for his display on the right flank against Chelsea, Camavinga also showed that there will be life after Kroos and Modric.
Valverde and Camavinga accelerate the Casemiro, Kroos and Modric succession plan
Real Madrid’s backups start to step up
As well as the performances of Valverde and Camavinga, Lucas Vazquez also stood out by playing well throughout the game and by scoring the second goal against Getafe.
He played in order to give Dani Carvajal a rest and it worked perfectly, meaning Ancelotti has three more points in the title race and some rested key players for the Chelsea second leg.
Even Gareth Bale was able to come on late in the game and lead Real Madrid’s line, allowing Karim Benzema to have a breather. The backups at Real Madrid are starting to step up.
Vinicius reaches 100 victories with Real Madrid quicker than legends like Ramos and Marcelo
Vinicius’ nod to Mbappe? His comment causes a storm
Vinicius played a prominent role in Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Getafe at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday night and, in doing so, racked up his 100th victory with Los Blancos.
The Brazilian provided a masterful assist for Casemiro to head home the opener, and was a constant threat for the opposition’s defence.
Vinicius has achieved a century of Real Madrid wins at the age of just 21 years and 271 days, surpassing club legends such as Marcelo, Raphael Varane, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Ramos, Isco and Karim Benzema, who reached their 100th wins at 25 years old or above
Benzema overtakes Di Stefano’s 308 Real Madrid goals and Raul’s 66 in the Champions League
Real Madrid 3-1 (3-2) PSG. Benzema rises to the occasion as Real Madrid come back to beat PSG
Champions League. Al-Khelaifi loses it at the Bernabeu: He stormed downstairs and went to the referees’ dressing room
Karim Benzema has taken another step towards immortality at Real Madrid, scoring a hat-trick against Paris Saint-Germain to lead an outstanding comeback to send Los Blancos through in the Champions League. His three goals took his tally for the club to 309 goals, overtaking Alfredo Di Stefano’s 308.
Benzema’s 309 goals will ensure that he is always remembered at the club, putting that first he scored on September 20, 2009, against Xerez a long way into the past. The assist for that first goal came from Ruud van Nistelrooy.
What’s more is that his third goal against PSG this week allowed him to overtake Raul Gonzalez’s 66 Champions League goals, with his first having come in 2004/05 before joining Real Madrid. Eight of those have come this season, breaking his own personal best in the competition – seven in 2011/12.
Benzema now has 30 goals this term, just one fewer than the whole of last season and two shy of his best goalscoring campaign – 2011/12 when he scored 32 under Jose Mourinho.
Benzema is worth more to Real Madrid than Cristiano Ronaldo
Karim Benzema was already part of Real Madrid’s history. But now he’s a legend.
Years will pass and people will still remember the No.9’s hat-trick against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night, one after another in 20 minutes of madness in the capital.
Benzema is worth more to Real Madrid than what the current Cristiano Ronaldo would. He won’t score as many goals as the No.7, but he’s more Madridista than the Portuguese ever was. He never asked for a raise, never for a renewal, and he has taken more criticism than anybody.
Now, he should be named honorary president or whatever other title he wants.
Benzema… what a game!
It was a night that Benzema deserved. It was something that had been missing, but his memorable hat-trick led the comeback. He now has 309 Real Madrid goals and overtook Raul Gonzalez in the Champions League standings.