REPORT | 26/08/2018 | Javier GarcíaA Benzema brace and goals from Ramos and Bale saw the Whites come from behind to secure a win that sends them top.
- La Liga
- Matchday 2
The Whites, with Casemiro the only change made from last week's league curtain-raiser, began proceedings on the front foot as they played the ball around patiently. In the 8th minute, in what was one of the visitors' first forward forays, Benzema turned the ball home, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside. Just minutes later, Isco came a whisker away from breaking the deadlock, but he failed to find the finishing touch after a fine one-two inside the area with Marco Asensio.
The home side were well organised and awaited their opportunity to strike. This chance duly came in the 16th minute, when Lozano was at the heart of a quick counter-attack which culminated in Borja García evading a last-ditch challenge before thumping the ball into the top corner. This goal gave the Catalans a lift and they could have doubled their advantage through Portu. However, Madrid gradually began to regain control and the chances started to flow. Marcelo, who tried his luck from range, and Ramos, with two headed efforts, both tested Bono in the Girona goal. This proved to be a foretaste of what was to follow. The captain did find the net in the 39th minute after Asensio was felled in the box in a move that saw Isco come close, with the captain stepping up and dinking home a Panenka-style penalty.
The second half started in much the same way, with Real Madrid dominating and looking for the next goal. Bale had the first great chance as he sent in shot across goal that forced Bono to prove his mettle. On 52’, the visitors made it 2-1. Yet again it was Asensio who went down in the box, and this time Benzema took the penalty. Given the scoreline, Girona were forced to leave themselves open at the back, and Bale wasted no time in making the most of this space. The Welsh star was greatly assisted by Isco and used his speed and accuracy to score the team's third of the night (59’).
Benzema nets a brace
At 3-1, Lopetegui’s side were now really in control. The Whites' boss sent on Varane, Modric and Lucas Vázquez one by one. Meanwhile, the Whites looked for their fourth goal. Keylor stopped a Borja effort, Benzema then scored his second after a phenomenal Bale assist from the right (80’). As time ran out, Navas was forced to make another save, this time keeping out Granell. It ended as a 4-1 win as attentions turn to the Leganés game prior to the international break.