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Important victory ahead of Liverpool clash

MATCH REPORT. 03/04/2021. Alberto Navarro

Goals from Asensio and Benzema secured the three points against Éibar ahead of the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.

Real Madrid picked up their fourth straight win as they overcame Eibar at home to extend their unbeaten run to 11 games. Goals from Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema, who has now scored in seven consecutive outings, handed Zinedine Zidane’s side the three points. The Whites got off to a blistering start and almost took the lead in the opening three minutes when a mistake by Pozo let in Benzema but the Frenchman was superbly denied by Dmitrović, when the striker was one-on-one with the keeper. Two minutes later, Benzema found the back of the net when he nodded in Marcelo’s pin-point cross to the far post, but the goal was ruled out as the forward was in an offside position. Madrid kept piling on the pressure and on 10’ appealed for a penalty for a tug on Casemiro by Rafa Soares, but it was to no avail.
 
The hosts once again went close on 21’ when Asensio’s inswinging free-kick from out wide on the right curled onto the crossbar. The Majorcan was once again involved 15 minutes later. Isco’s low shot from inside the area was backheeled into the net by the forward, but the goal was again disallowed because Asensio was coming back from an offside position.  In the 41st minute, Asensio was in the thick of the action again. Casemiro won the ball back in midfield and slipped it through the centre, where the forward carried the ball past Arbilla with his first touch, before finding the net with an effort that curled past Dmitrović.

Whilst Asensio was heavily involved in the final stages of the first half, he took centre stage again shortly after the restart, when his effort from the edge of the area on 52’ drew a fine save from Marko Dmitrović. The rain and wind were now beginning to influence proceedings and things very nearly took a turn for the worse 10 minutes later after a Lucas Vázquez back-pass skipped up off the wet turf and almost caught Thibaut Courtois out, but the Whites’ goalkeeper scurried back to hook the ball clear right on the goal line.
 
Clean sheet
The minutes continued to tick by and the hosts had a third goal chalked off on 70'. Casemiro swept the ball just inside the post from the edge of the area, only to see his effort disallowed after Arribas was lurking in an offside position. Three minutes later, Madrid doubled the advantage to put the result beyond the visitors' reach. Vinicius Jr. set out on a driving run and his inch-perfect, left-footed cross was met by Benzema, whose headed effort flew past Dmitrović. This strike saw the French hitman extend his goalscoring streak and make it nine goals in his last seven outings. The madridistas, who went on to record a clean sheet, now turn their attentions to Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg encounter against Liverpool at the Di Stéfano (9pm CET).

Zidane reaches 250 games as Real Madrid manager

Zinedine Zidane reached 250 games as Real Madrid manager in the return of LaLiga against Éibar. The Frenchman is the coach with the second most games to his name in the club's history and with him at the helm, Real Madrid have scored a total of 400 goals in the competition.



Eleven games without defeat

After the win against Éibar, Real Madrid have now won four consecutive games (after previously beating Elche, Atalanta and Celta) and have also gone 11 games without defeat (9 wins and 2 draws).

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The referee

Díaz de Mera Escuderos (Castilla La Mancha Committee), assisted by Becerril Gómez and Escuela Melo. Cueto Amigo was the fourth official, while Martínez Munuera (Valencian Committee) was in charge of VAR.

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