Ancelotti praises ‘complete player’ Benzema after Real Madrid thrash Alaves


A brace from French
veteran striker Karim Benzema got Real Madrid off to a flier in La Liga
Saturday, his double laying the foundation for a 4-1 victory at Alaves.

Eternal rivals Barcelona may have lost Lionel Messi but Real
themselves are in a period of transition having seen Zinedine Zidane step down
as coach and central defensive linchpins Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane head
for Messi’s PSG and Manchester United respectively.

Even with their big names still on board both of Spain’s
biggest clubs were unable to prevent Atletico Madrid walking off with the title
last season.

But after initially failing to click in a goalless first
half, Real found their rhythm after the restart as the returning Gareth Bale
found Eden Hazard who flicked on with his heel for Benzema, skipper in the
injured Marcelo’s absence, to volley home on 48 minutes.

Bale blotted his copybook with a booking for a high boot
thereafter but Real — who featured their only new face in David Alaba — did
not allow that to loosen the grip they were steadily taking on the game. 

Nacho volleyed in from close range following a Luka Modric
short corner on 56 minutes and Benzema made it 3-0 and essentially game over
just after the hour, scuffing in at the second time of asking after a fine run
and assist by Federico Valverde.

A Joselu penalty for the hosts was a minor blemish after
Thibaut Courtois, making his 100th Liga appearance between the posts for Real,
brought down John Guidetti.

But a Vinicius header applied extra gloss for Real’s fourth
in injury time.

“To call Karim a striker is not to do him justice – he
is a very complete player. More so than five years ago,” said Ancelotti.

“In the first half we lacked intensity but Karim’s
first goal opened up the game. I want to play with intensity with or without
the ball.”

In other action Saturday, Cadiz and Levante parted 1-1 as
did Mallorca and Real Betis while the match between Osasuna and Espanyol ended
in a goalless stalemate.

Atletico start their title defence Sunday at Celta Vigo in
Galicia while Barcelona begin the post-Messi era at the Camp Nou against Real
Sociedad while Sevilla host Rayo Vallecano.

There are two matches on Monday as Villarreal go up against
Granada while Elche meet Athletic Bilbao.

Valencia got the ball rolling Friday and pocketed three
points after an early Carlos Soler penalty was enough to see them overcome
Getafe 1-0.

Author: desi123 is an online news portal that aims to provide the latest trendy news for Asians living in Asia and around the World.

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