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Benzema helps Madrid stretch lead at top of league table

MATCH REPORT. 01/12/2021. Alberto Navarro. Photographer: Antonio Villalba, Helios de la Rubia and María Jiménez

The Frenchman, who has scored in three straight games, sealed Ancelotti’s side’s seventh consecutive win.

Real Madrid march on in LaLiga, as Carlo Ancelotti’s side refuse to be beaten and extend their winning run to seven straight games. Tonight’s win against a resolute Athletic meant Madrid stretched their lead at the top of the league standings to seven points ahead of Atlético and Real Sociedad in joint-second place. The Whites’ sublime run is largely down to the heroics of Karim Benzema and Thibaut Courtois. The French striker grabbed the winner on the stroke of half-time and the league’s pichichi (12 goals) has now found the back of the net in his last three games. Meanwhile, the Madrid shot-stopper once again came to his side’s rescue with a series of fine saves.
 
The madridistas got off to a flying start as they looked to break the deadlock early on and almost did so in the seventh minute. Vini Jr. crossed the ball into the area and Benzema, with the help of a deflection from Núñez, poked the ball towards the visitors’ goal but Unai Simón did well to turn the ball away. Athletic responded through Williams, when the ball fell kindly to him after hitting Militão but his strike from outside the box was inches wide of the post. Four minutes later, the visitors went close again. A free-kick was swung into the danger area and Raúl García’s header from point-blank range was somehow clawed away by Courtois.

Video.1-0: Benzema helps Madrid stretch lead at top of league table

Real Madrid quickly moved on and reverted to their plan, heading in at the break with the lead. Kroos tried his luck with a volley which forced a good save out of Unai Simón with 39 minutes gone. The goalkeeper was against called in to action and pulled off an impressive save from Asensio's shot with the rebound falling to Modrić, whose first-time left-footed shot didn’t find it’s way through but Benzema was smart enough to read the effort and slotted it home for the lead. After the interval things remained the same with the visitors looking very solid at the back and our team going in search of the second goal. In the 55th minute, Kroos' effort missed the target from the edge of the area after a trademark strike with the inside of his right foot.
 
Athletic looked for a response five minutes later but Lucas Vázquez’s deflected Dani García's shot wide. As the minutes ticked by, Real Madrid kept a hold on their lead with Courtois in fine form. Sancet found himself one-on-one but the Belgian kept him out again in the 76th minute. Militão was the saviour ten minutes later after a Vesga header from the penalty spot was turn away by the Brazilian. Real Madrid withstood any further attacks to seal to points and remain top of the table.

Seventh straight win

Real Madrid have now recorded seven consecutive wins, three of them away from home. The run began before the international break, when they beat Elche (1-2), Shakhtar Donetsk (2-1) and Rayo Vallecano (2-1). They then went on to beat Granada (1-4) and Tiraspol Stadion (0-3), and further extended their run by beating Sevilla (2-1) and Athletic (1-0) at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Benzema has scored in his last three games

The Real Madrid frontman again displayed his spectacular run of form. Top scorer in LaLiga with 12 goals, he's now bagged in the last three games (against Sheriff away and Sevilla and Athletic at the Bernabeu).

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The referee

Díaz De Mera Escuderos (Castilla-La Mancha Committee), assisted on the sidelines by Becerril Gómez and Santaúrsula Aguado. Morales Moreno was the fourth official and Martínez Munuera (Valencia Committee) was the VAR referee.

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