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Benzema inspires spectacular Real Madrid to victory

MATCH REPORT. 06/04/2022. Alberto Navarro. Photographer: Antonio Villalba and Helios de la Rubia

Three goals from the Frenchman at Stamford Bridge secured the win for our team, who will fight for a place in the semi-finals at the Bernabéu next Tuesday.

Real Madrid put on a dazzling display at Stamford Bridge to edge ahead in the quarter-final tie against Chelsea, courtesy of an inspirational performance by Karim Benzema. The Frenchman netted a hat-trick for the second consecutive Champions League game to spearhead the madridistas to victory. Carlo Ancelotti’s men, who produced a solid display, must now finish the job at hand next Tuesday at the Santiago Bernabéu to book their place in the semi-finals.

The first half was played at blistering pace, as Real Madrid and Chelsea looked to open the scoring early on, and the result was three goals in the first 45 minutes. Madrid first went close in the 10th minute. Valverde won the ball back before combining with Benzema, who then backheeled the ball back to the Uruguayan. The midfielder slipped in Vini Jr. and the Brazilian cut inside before seeing his strike come crashing back off the crossbar. This move signalled the beginning of an onslaught of attacks from the visitors and in the space of four minutes Ancelotti’s side would score two goals. First Benzema produced a bullet header after neat link-up play with Vini Jr. down the left. Then the striker rose high to head Modrić’s parabola across the keeper and into the net.

Video.1-3: Benzema inspires spectacular Real Madrid to victory

Real Madrid were now enjoying their best spell of the night and twice came close to extending their lead. The first of these openings came with half an hour played as Militão met a Toni Kroos corner with a powerful header that was gathered in by Mendy. The second chance came about following a sublime piece of play from Dani Carvajal inside the box and a left-footed effort that drew a diving reflex save out of the hosts’ goalkeeper. Despite Madrid’s evident goal threat, Chelsea reduced the arrears in the 40th minute, when Kai Havertz nodded the ball home. There was still time for another chance before the half was up and it went the way of the visitors. Vini Jr. sent a cross over on 42’ that Jorginho contrived to head towards his own goal and Benzema pounced, only to see his left-footed shot from the penalty spot whistle just narrowly wide of the target.
 
The second half couldn’t have got off to a better start. A determined Benzema anticipated an error from Mendy, who looked to play the ball to Rüdiger, and won the ball back before tapping into an empty net in the 46th minute. This was the forward’s second back-to-back hat-trick in the Champions League as he brought his tally for the season to 37 and closed in on the 40-goal mark. The Chelsea riposte came four minutes later in the form of a thunderous right-footed Azpilicueta drive from the edge of the box that Thibaut Courtois kept out with a stunning diving save. Chelsea had the chance to cut the deficit on 69’, but Lukaku, who found himself all alone in the six-yard box, failed to hit the target with a headed effort. Our team saw out the rest of the game and will now have to make the most of the advantage in the second leg back at the Bernabéu

Benzema has now scored in seven straight games

Karim Benzema’s hot streak continues and he’s now riding a seven-match scoring run: five in LaLiga (against Celta, Mallorca, Real Sociedad, Rayo and Alavés) and two in the Champions League (Chelsea and PSG). The Frenchman has hit 13 goals in this sequence of games.

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The referee

Clément Turpin (France), assisted by Nicolás Danos and Cyril Gringore. François Letexier was the fourth official, whilst Jérôme Brisard was the VAR referee.

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