Football Features

“King Karim Benzema, the best no. 9 in the world” – Real Madrid hammer Valencia 4-1 at Santiago Bernabeu

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:02, 8 January 2022 | Updated: 21:10, 24 November 2022

Karim Benzema guided Real Madrid to a dominant 4-1 win over Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Los Che came to the Spanish capital and were by far and away the dominant side over the first 30 minutes as they defended well and broke at pace. However they failed to overly trouble Thibaut Courtois in that time, let alone score.

Madrid began to dominate the game after the half-hour mark and when Casemiro fortuitously won a penalty just a couple minutes short of half-time, who else but Karim Benzema stepped up for Real Madrid?

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Benzema hammered home the spot-kick with unerring precision, a powerful shot flying right into the top corner. There could have been two of Jasper Cillessen in goal and he still wouldn’t have gotten to that shot.

The goal was Benzema’s 300th in Madrid’s colours, a historic milestone that puts him just 8 goals shy of club legend Alfredo Di Stefano in third place. That is a total Benzema will almost certainly surpass this season, and next on the list is Raul in second.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s 450 goals for Los Blancos are obviously well out of reach, but Raul’s 323 is right there for the taking and you would expect Benzema to pass that record with ease next season (or perhaps even this) to firmly establish himself as the second-best goalscorer in Real Madrid history (he’s also just three goals away from surpassing Raul’s 66 Champions League goals too).

Benzema was brilliant besides the goals, with his passes playing key roles in Madrid’s second and third strikes. Those goals were, of course, scored by Vinicius Junior. The young Brazilian wing-forward missed last weekend’s loss to Getafe because of Covid-19 but showed no after-effects as he ran at Valencia all night long and was rewarded with two simple finishes after some disastrous Valencia defending.

Vinicius was awarded man of the match, but Benzema was the star of the show and stole the headlines from his young team-mate by scoring Madrid’s fourth goal just when Valencia were pushing to make the game a contest late on.

A gorgeous strike, this was goal of the night as Benzema deftly turned away from desperate Valencia defenders like one would avoid a dog yapping at your ankles, and then lasered the ball into the bottom corner of the net off the post. His 17th goal of the season, his 301st Real Madrid goal, and a signal that this is a man at the very top of his game.

King Karim Benzema, the best no. 9 in the world.