Karim Benzema played the best game of the season against Napoli in the Last 16 Round of the Champions League. From the kick off, the French striker looked different and he lead the team in the attacking line, bombing Pepe Reina for 90 minutes. It was a siege and Benzema was the soldier leading the team.
In the very first minute of the game, Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema invented a great play and the French forward shot but he found Reina’s fist to avoid the first goal. It was only the first warning about what was about to come. Despite Insigne found the net in the first attack, Real Madrid kept looking for Reina’s goal. And Benzema also found the net quite soon, after a great assist from Carvajal.
It was the fair prize for a great performance. Benzema could even score a second goal before the half time, but the post prevented it. This time, Benzema played as centre forward whereas Cristiano Ronaldo played as a winger, also giving the best out of him. In the second half, the French striker was more tired and he had to be replaced by Álvaro Morata in the last minutes.
This season, Karim Benzema has received a lot of criticism. He’s been absent in many games and his numbers in La Liga are very poor, only scoring 5 goals in 16 games, very far from the 26 goals scored last season only in La Liga. However, Benzema changes when he listen to the Champions League hymn. In only 7 games this season, he has also scored 5 goals in Europe against Napoli, Dortmund, Sporting Lisbon and Legia Warsaw.
With the Real Madrid t-shirt, Karim Benzema has scored 39 goals in the Champions League. Last season, for instance, he only scored 4, three of them against Malmo. His most important goal in the Champions League with Real Madrid came in 2014, when he scored the only goal in the Champions League semifinals against Bayern Munich at home.
Zinedine Zidane wanted to highlight Benzema’s great performance in press conference: “He has shown he has personality and in these critical moments he knows to answer in the best way, scoring goals. He deserved to score more goal. It’s not only the goals, but he’s a constant danger”, the manager said about Benzema. Let’s see if the French striker keeps with the good work or he’s back to the drought in La Liga.