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  • Sports - Football - Scores & Fixtures
  • Updated: December 02, 2021

La Liga: Benzema Sends Real Madrid 7 Points Clear With Goal Against Athletic Bilbao

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Oladimeji Balogun
Oladimeji Balogun

Oladimeji Balogun is a graduate of the University of Ilorin where he studied Microbiology, he is a w...

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French forward Karim Benzema was applauded by Real Madrid's fans as he scored his 20th goal against Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday to send Madrid seven points clear at the top of LaLiga.

At the Bernabeu, they chanted "Karim, Ballon d'Or" with the 33-year old taking a bow in front of the fans.

Benzema's 20th goal in 24 games this season proved the difference in a 1-0 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu that puts Madrid firmly in charge of the Spanish title race, even after only 15 games played.

A run of seven consecutive wins in all competitions has helped pull Carlo Ancelotti's team away from the chasing pack and Benzema, along with the explosive Vinicius Junior, has been instrumental.

Ancelotti insisted on Tuesday Benzema had not been "crying" about losing out to Lionel Messi in the Ballon d'Or on Monday, with the Frenchman finishing fourth in the final vote.

But there was more than a hint of rebellion in the air when the Madrid fans toasted his goal by chanting "Karim, Ballon d'Or" and the 33-year-old responded by applauding them back.

Ancelotti predicted Benzema would be even more motivated to win the award next season and perhaps his best hope would be to play a decisive role in Madrid winning either LaLiga or the Champions League.

With Barcelona rebuilding under Xavi Hernandez and Atletico Madrid struggling to balance their usually dependable defence with a wealth of options in attack, Real Madrid are certainly emerging as clear favourites now in Spain.

They defeated Sevilla 2-1 last weekend and now face third-placed Real Sociedad and second-placed Atletico in their next two games, fixtures that could give them a formidable lead if the victories keep coming.

Athletic, meanwhile, stay eighth, without a win now in six.

Madrid rode their luck against Sevilla and were stretched again here, with Athletic squandering a string of golden opportunities.

The first came from a long ball over the top, which hit Eder Militao on the back and allowed Inaki Williams in, but he shot wide.

Then David Alaba left a long punt downfield for Thibaut Courtois behind him but Williams was there again, only for his first touch to let him down.

Raul Garcia had the best chance, with a free header from three yards out, but he nodded straight at Courtois and there was an air of inevitability about Madrid making Athletic pay.

Vinicius started it, with a driving run in off the left, exchanging with Luka Modric before feeding Marco Asensio, whose curled shot came back to Modric.

He fluffed the rebound but so badly that it fell nicely into the path of Benzema, who slotted in.

Athletic were still the better team in the second half and the home crowd grew increasingly agitated.

Raul Garcia's shot had to be blocked by the sliding Lucas Vazquez and Courtois was required to deny Oihan Sancet. Mikel Vesga should have headed in late on but again Militao was there.

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Oladimeji Balogun
Oladimeji Balogun

Oladimeji Balogun is a graduate of the University of Ilorin where he studied Microbiology, he is a w...

More From this Author

La Liga Santander 2021/2022 TABLE

La Liga Santander
No Teams P Pts
1 Real Madrid 38 86
2 Barcelona 38 73
3 Atletico Madrid 38 71
4 Sevilla 39 70
5 Real Betis 38 65
Full Table

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT

Real Madrid
Real Madrid

Real Madrid Club de Fútbol (meaning Royal Madrid Football Club), commonly referred to as Real Madrid, is a Spanish professional football...

Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Club, also commonly known as Athletic Bilbao, is a Spanish professional football club based in the city of Bilbao in the Ba...

France
France

France National Football Team represents France in men's international football and is controlled by the French Football Federation, al...

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